Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival – World Wine Reviews

This Part 2 of my review of my picks from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.  Part 1 covered the wines of SpainPart 2 is the rest of the world. Again, there are so many wines at the tasting, and so little time, I’m sure I missed many great wines.  If you tasted some that I didn’t list, please feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this post.  I love feedback and to learn what gems others have found at the Festival.

Sparkling and Fortified Wines

  • Ca’ Del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvee Prestige (Italy) A very elegant  sparkling wine.  This is a blend of primarily Chardonnay with a bit of Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco.   The three grapes are vinified separately, then blended together. Medium lemon colour.  Very bready nose.   Medium bubble.  Apple, citrus and some lime flavours.  High acidity and very dry on the palate.

  • Champagne Lallier Rose (France). Very pale pinkish orange colour.  Light strawberry nose.  Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour.
  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal). Light tawny colour in the glass. Ripe sweet fruit and Malmsey Madeira nose.  Round mouthfeel, medium sweetness. Apples, plums, chocolate and spice. Nice.
  • Fonseca Guimaraens Quinta do Panascal 2001 Port (Portugal). Deep purple colour.  Very nice dark fruit nose.  Red delicious apples, black cherries and spice on the palate.  Medium tannins.  A very elegant port.
  • Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Vanzeller 10-Year-Old Tawny Port (Portugal). Tawny colour.  Malmsey maderized nose with some caramel. Round mouthfeel.  Medium body, off dry.  Flavours of caramel, spice, and a bit of orange.

White and Rose Wines

  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina). Torrontes is the signature white grape of Argentina.  Very aromatic and a good change from Gewurztraimer or Viognier. Light lemon coloured. Lychee and perfumy nose.  Light body, round, with medium acidity.  Lychee, apricot and cinnamon flavours. Very tasty with a long spicy finish.

  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France). I love Alsatian wines, and was really looking forward to Pfaffenheim’s wines. Medium lemon colour.  Wonderful lychee nose with a slight touch of sweet spice. Full body. Off dry with lower acidity.  Round mouthfeel with lychee, apricot and flowery flavours.  Very nice.
  • Pierre Sparr Mambourg Pinot Gris 2008 (France). Pale lemon.  Sweet apricot and honey on the nose. Off dry with honey and apricot flavour. Round in the mouth. Nice.
  • Schloss Reinhartshausen Prinz VVN Preussen Rielsing Off-Dry 2009 (Germany). I really enjoyed this wine.  Light lemon colour in the glass. Light flowery nose.  Good acidity with lime flavour and streak of minerality.
  • Joseph Drouhin Chablis Premier Cru 2009 (France). Very pale lemon coloured.  Light lemony nose with a hint of sweet spice on the nose.  Round mouthfeel.  Good citrus and vanilla flavour.  Medium length. Elegant.
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (Canada). This is 100% Chardonnay from a blend of 3 Chardonnay clones: 2 Dijon and 1 Loire. A portion of the wine is fermented in French oak and left sur lies for 10 months. Pale lemon with a green tint in the glass.  Flower and lemon on the nose. Medium body with vanilla, pineapple flavours.  Medium acidity. A very well balanced wine.  This is a chardonnay that everyone should try.
  • Zuccardi Series A Torrontes 2010 (Argentina). Pale lemon coloured. Lychee, roses, and sweetness (which is just lots of fruitiness) on the nose. Dry on the palate.  Light body, with a round mouthfeel.  Lychee and a bit of spice.  Very nice.
  • Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The Mistress” Waipara Riesling 2006 (New Zealand).  I was really impressed by this wine and their Small Parcel Pinot Noir.  These are special single vineyard wines.  The Riesling was pale lemony green.  Petrol, and lemon on the nose.  High acidity, almost bone dry, with petrol and lemon flavours.
  • Man O’War Vineyards Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (New Zealand). This wine was very light lemon in colour.  Herbal and jalapeno pepper aromas. High acidity with more jalapeno and herbal flavours.  Light body, but long length.  Very nice.
  • Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (New Zealand).  Pale lemon in the glass.  Lots of gooseberry on the nose with some herbal on the nose that continued to the palate.  Medium plus acidity with long length.  Really nice flavour.

Red Wines

  • Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina). Graffigna was founded in 1870 and is the second oldest winery in Argentina. I was first introduced to their wines last year at the VPIWF and was very happy to see that they were here again this year. Their Reserve Malbec is deep purple in colour.  Blackberry nose. Full body, with blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry flavour with nice spiciness mid palate.  Round mouthfeel.  Very easy to drink this Malbec.

  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile). Santa Rita is a premium producer from Chile.  I really enjoy their wines, and spent time visiting them in Chile. Their Medalla Real Pinot Noir is coloured light purple in the glass.  Ripe cassis aromas. Round mouth feel, light boded with an abundance of cassis flavour.  Low tannins. 
  • Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The-Rise-and-Shine” Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007 (New Zealand). Central Otago, is inland in the South Island.  The cooler climate allows these grapes have a long hang time and smaller berries, which gives a higher skin to pulp ratio, and more intense, riper, fruit flavours.  Medium purple in the glass with ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Ripe fruit, cassis, plums and vanilla on the palate.  Medium body and medium length.  Very nice.
  • Sacred Hill Brokenstone Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2006 (New Zealand). Medium dark garnet in colour.  Ripe dark cherry and vanilla aromas in the glass.  Full body, round mouthfeel with medium drying tannins.  Ripe cherries and vanilla flavour, with a bit of spice on the finish.
  • Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec 2008 (Argentina). Deep purple in colour.  Vanilla, coffee, and dark fruit aromas. Ripe black cherries and cassis flavours.  Firm tannins with a long length.
  • Decero Malbec, Remolinos Vineyard 2009 (Argentina). Opaque purple in the glass.  Jammy fruit, cassis, and black cherry on the nose.  Medium plus body with black currant and tarry flavours.  Good acidity to make this wine lively.
  • Decero Cabernet Sauvignon, Remolinos Vineyard 2008 (Argentina). Opaque garnet in colour.  Light oak and light cassis nose. Ripe cassis and ripe cherry flavours. Full body with medium tannins.
  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005 (Chile). Pehuen Carmenere is a premium wine from Vina Santa Rita.  Opaque purple in the glass. Dark fruit nose with a whiff of capsicum. Full bodied but with soft tannins.  Ripe black cherries, vanilla and spice on the palate.  A very long length.  Here is a Carmenere you should try.
  • Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage Red Les Hauts du Fief 2007 (France). Cave de Tain lies at the foot of the Hermitage hillside in the Rhone Valley.  I stood there a few years ago.  It is very inspiring.  This wine was deep garnet in colour.  Ripe raspberry nose.  Full body, dry mouthfeel.  Raspberry flavour.  Low tannins and long length.
  • Cave de Tain Saint Joseph Red Esprit de Granit 2007 (France). I translate Esprit de Granit, to the Spirit of Granite, which I assume underlies the vines for this wine. Dark garnet in colour.  Restrained dark fruit, raspberry and cherry aromas. Full body with raspberry and dark cherry flavours.  Round mouthfeel with soft tannins, and long length.
  • Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand). Pale purple colour.  Lots of raspberry aroma and flavour.  Also a bit of tea leaves on the palate. Light body with medium acidity. 
  • Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Dao Reserva 2005 (Portugal). This was an amazing wine.  It is made with grapes that are used in Port, and actually smells like port.  Opaque purple in the glass. Coats the glass when swirled. Full body with loads of dark sweet fruit and spice.  A good level of acidity to make this a real exciting wine.
  • Bodega Alta Vista Premium Malbec 2008 (Argentina). Opaque garnet in colour.  Ripe blueberry and cassis aromas. Good acidity with jammy cassis fruit, blueberries, vanilla and spicy flavours.

A lot of wines from around the world to choose from.  I hope you have a chance to try some of these wines.  Also, remember that the Festival is to support the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Here is a link to their current theatre season.

I am also looking forward to next year, as the theme country is Chile.  As you may have read, that I have travelled to Chile, sat with many winemakers and tried wines with them.  They have a quality product, and I hope they can charm you too with their wines.  Enjoy!