From the Fall through Spring, the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) hosts a regular tasting of importers latest wines, beer and spirits. The kick-off for the fall was last week, and it was very busy. Again too many wines to try, so I went table by table trying to find wines of interest, or completely new wines/wineries I have not heard of, to try and post my favourites for you. My favourites follow.
My Favorite White Wines
Pewsey Vale Riesling, 2011, Australia ($23.99 SPEC). Nice lime, lychee and flowers on the nose. Medium minus body, light acidity with lots of citrus and stone fruit flavours. Very tasty.
- Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2010, California ($44.99). Light citrus and vanilla aromas. Medium body, round mouthfeel with quite a bit of tropical fruit flavour, and vanilla. A quality wine.
- Beringer Founders’ Estate Chardonnay, 2010, California ($19.99). If you cannot afford the Private Reserve, this Founders’ Estate is sure to please. Nice light apple and oak aromas. Off-dry with a nice round mouthfeel. Apples, stone fruit and sweet spice on the palate. Very tasty.
- Domaine Joseph Mellot, Le Troncsec, Pouilly-Fume, 2010, France ($29.99 SPEC). Light straw colour. Nice citrus and peach aromas. Dry with a light body and higher acidity. Citrus with lemon/lime pith flavour. Medium length with a hint of spice on the tongue.
- Cambria Estate Winery, Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009, California ($29.99 SPEC). An elegant wine. Light lemon colour. Light aroma of vanilla and apples. Light body, dry, with soft acidity. Very well-integrated oak with tropical fruit and apple flavours and some sweet spice. You can try this wine at Hawkesworth and Joe Fortes restaurants in downtown Vancouver.
Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay, 2009, California ($19.99). Light lemon in colour, with a light apple/citrus nose. Medium body with a nice round mouthfeel. Very fruity red apple, citrus and sweet spices on the palate. Light oak that complements, and does not overpower the wine. Medium length. Tasty.
- Azienda Agricola, Monte del Fra, Ca Del Magro, 2010, Italy (price N/A). This is a blend of 40% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano Toscano, 15% Tocai Friuliano, 10% Cortese, and 10% Chardonnay, and a remainder of Riesling, Malvasia and Incrocio Manzoni (that’s a new grape I have not heard of before). Light pear skin colour in the glass. Light honey, citrus and orange aromas. Nice to linger and smell. Medium minus body, fruity with stone fruit and sweet spice flavour.
My Favorite Red Wines
- Musella, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2008, Italy ($29.99). This wine is made from the Corvina grape. 15% of these grapes are dried for 4 weeks to concentrate the juice before fermentation. 20% are fermented as normal after being picked from the field, and the remaining 65a% are from the skins of older Corvina grapes that were used to produce Amarone! The wine was a light, translucent ruby colour. Plummy nose. Medium body. Very tasty with plums and cherries. Dry with medium minus tannins. This wine is very well integrated with all it’s components.
Domaine Font de Michelle, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2010, France ($49.99 SPEC). I seem to be having a love affair with CDP lately, or agents are just bringing over really excellent ones that have caught my eye. Medium ruby colour. This has a wow nose with a big bouquet of roses. Medium body. Firm dry tannins. Dark fruit and flowers on the palate. A real special wine. My overall favourite wine of the tasting.
- Bodega Belgrano, It’s A Headsnapper Malbec, 2011, Argentina ($14.99 restricted). Quite a catchy name. Something I’d expect from North America or Australia. But what’s inside the bottle is quite fun at an exceptional price. This Malbec has dark fruit, nutmeg, and meaty aromas. Medium-plus body, dry, with ripe cherries, and light nutmeg spice, followed by a smoky mid-palate. Light tannins. Fun to drink.
- Halos de Jupiter, Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Adrastee”, France ($74.99 SPEC). Medium translucent garnet. Bitter dark chocolate nose. Medium body, dry, very juicy cassis flavour, light tannins. A hint of caramel.
- Bodegas Nekeas, El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa, 2010, Spain ($23.91). This is an old vine Garnacha (Grenache) wine. It had a nice juicy red fruit nose along with some meaty tones. LOTS of flavour, with ripe juicy black fruit, a sausage note, vanilla, and medium spice on the palate. Very tasty.
Belasco de Baquedano, Llama Old Vine Malbec, 2011, Argentina ($14.95). Medium translucent ruby in the glass. Very bright cherry aroma. Medium body with a light mouthfeel. Cassis and cherries, with vanilla mid-palate and pepper on the finish. A nice price.
- Domaine les Combettes Rouge, France ($17.50). This blend from the Coteaux du Languedoc is 30% Syrah, 30% Carignan, 20% Mourvedre, and 20% Grenache. Light ruby colour. Perfumed with blueberries on the nose. Medium body, with cassis and dark fruit flavours, then red cherries pop in your mouth. Medium fine tannins.
I hope you find a few of interest to you. Let me know if you try any and leave a comment. Enjoy!