My Latest IVSA Wine Picks – January 2012

Chinese dragon

January 23, 2012, arrived full of promise, dragon-sized.  With that in mind, I checked out the New Product Salon for the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) in downtown Vancouver.  There was a wide range of wines; sparkling, still, red, white, and fortified.  A few stars from the tasting that I would like to share with you.


 Italian Prosecco

  • Emotivo Prosecco, Italy, $14.49. Pale lemon with small bubbles in the glass. Light citrusy nose.  High acid with citrus and flower flavours.  Very tasty.


  • Familia Cassone Obra Prima Cabernet Sauvignon Rosado, Argentina, $15.99. Smoky strawberry nose.  Medium plus acidity with red cherries, red berries and some smokiness.  Dry on the palate.

White Wines

  • Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Rserva 2011

    Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Bianco 2010, Italy, $19.99.  This is a blend of Grecanico, Inzolia, and Catarratto from Sicily. Medium lemon colour with light stone fruit, oaky nose.  Bright acidity with oak and ripe apple flavours.  Medium length.  I think this wine would pair nicely with many dishes.

  • Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc “Leyda Valley”, Chile, 2011, $12.99. Pale lemon in colour.  Gobs of gooseberry on the nose. High acid, with light body.  Gooseberry and green flavours.  Some jalapeno flavour on the mid-palate. Lingering acid and spice on your tongue. Very nice.
  • Araldica Piemontese Cortese 2010, Italy, $14.99. This wine is made from the Cortese grape from the Piedmont area of Italy.  This wine was light lemon colour.  Nice nose with gewerztraminer-like aromas.  Sweet spice, lemon and flowery flavours.  High in acid but still round on the palate.  Very nice.  Enjoy with some seafood.
  • Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay 2009, California, $28.99.  Medium lemon in colour.  Apples, raisins, and flower blossoms on the nose. High acid, yet creamy.  Apples, citrus and pineapple flavours.  Long length.  An interesting wine, that comes in a ceramic bottle, reminding me of a Portuguese Lancer’s bottle.

Red Wines

  • Hullabaloo Old Vines Zinfandel 2009

    Miles from Nowhere Cabernet Merlot, Australia, 2010, $17.99. Medium garnet in the glass with capsicum and black currant aromas.  Smooth with mineral, spice, cherries and mint on the palate.

  • Hullaballo Zinfandel, California, 2009, $19.99.  This was a very intriguing wine.  Normally you think of jammy raspberry flavours from a Zin, and this wine is completely different. Along with a jammy nose there are also herbaceous and spice aromas.  Medium body, dry, with cassis, herbal and spice on the palate.
  • Plume Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, 2009, $29.99. Deep ruby in colour.  Nice ripe plum and cherry aromas.  Medium body with very drying tannins.  Vanilla, cherries, oak and some minty notes.  Very nice.
  • DFJ Portada, Portugal, 2009, $12.99.  This is a red blend that OVER DELIVERS. It is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Castelao, Shiraz, Alicante Boushet, Caladoc, and Pinot Noir. Some traditional Portuguese grapes and some grapes more common from Burgundy or the Rhone Valley. Light ruby in colour.  Interesting nose of ripe purple fruit.  Medium body, dry with cassis, apples, and ripe fruits. Low acid and tannins.  Medium length.  Not a huge wine, but a nice wine.

The red wines below really impressed me.  I highly recommend any one of them!

  • Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico 2009

    La Font du Vent Signargues Cotes du Rhone Villages, Notre Passion, France, $19.99. I am not sure of the vintage. This Rhone wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. Light garnet colour in the glass. Green olives and red fruit aromas.  Medium body with green olives, spice and cherry flavours.

  • Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico, Italy, 2009, $24.99. Light ruby in colour.  Nice light cherry and vanilla nose.  Light body, dry, with red cherries and raspberry flaours.  High acidity and low tannins.
  • Castagnoli Poggio A Frati Chianti Classico Reserva 2006, Italy, $37.99. Meidum ruby in colour.  Beautiful nose of rich red fruit with vanilla and menthol. Dry, medium body with red cherries, low acid and tannins.  Very classy.

Looking over my 13 recommendations, 5 are from Italy.  Hopefully many more nice Italian wines will travel across the Old World to our shores.  Enjoy!

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.