BC wines are continuing to make strides around the world. Last year BC wineries won more than 2000 medals in national and international competition according to the BC Wine Institute. BC has over 208 wineries today. We grow over 75 different grape varieties! Merlot is the most planted grape in BC, and Pinot Gris is the most planted white grape in BC. Sipping wine in BC’s Okanagan was rated Number 8 on MSN Travel‘s “Top 10 places to try something new” in 2012, and Viator Travel blog rated the Okanagan Valley, #1 on their list of “Top 10 Wine Destinations around the world”. Congratulations to all our fabulous wineries! Now let’s try some BC VQA wine together.
MyWinePal’s White Wine Picks
Arrowleaf Cellars Gewurztraminer 2011 ($15.99). This was my favourite white wine of this tasting, and at such an amazing price. It had a nice light flowery, sweet spice, honey and citrus nose. Dry with medium minus body, citrus, honey and light herbal flavour. So tasty and elegant.
- Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Calliope Riesling 2011 ($14.99). Nice nose of citrus, apple and stone fruit. Dry with high acidity, but still has some roundness on the palate. Peach flavour with a slight herbal edge.
- Fort Berens Estate Winery Chardonnay 2011 ($17.99). This plus 2 reds from Fort Berens made me sit up and take notice. Such quality from a new winery in a new BC wine region: Lillooet! Pale pear skin colour. Light vanilla and apple aromas. Light body with peach flavour and a hint of oak and cinnamon. A very elegant, integrated wine.
- Kalala Organic Estate Winery Dostana Chardonnay 2010 ($18.90). Medium lemon in colour with a nice apricot nose. Medium body with honey, oak and apricot flavour. Very tasty. Medium acidity with a hint of sweet spices.
Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Mistura Branca 2009 ($17.90). This is not a shy white wine. It is full on flavourful. A blend of 44% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Pinot Gris, 30% Gewurztraminer, and 6% Chardonnay. Deep pear skin colour. Honey and orange aromas were quite lush. Lighter bodied but very flavourful. Honey, lemon, apples, nutty and butterscotch. A dry wine, so don’t worry about sweetness here. Just enjoy it with friends.
- Stag’s Hollow Viognier 2010 ($21.99). Light orangy nose. Medium body, round mouthfeel with medium acidity. Citrus, peaches, vanilla and nutmeg on the palate.
- Stag’s Hollow Renaissance Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($24.99). Light citrus and stone fruit aromas in the glass. Medium body and round in the mouth. Quite fruity with citrus and stone fruit flavours. In addition you taste cinnamon upfront followed by nutmeg spice.
- Tantalus Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 ($29.90). Medium lemon with a tinge of green colour. Nice light buttery, vanilla, oak and citrus aromas. Medium body, dry and soft in your mouth. Light oak and cinnamon spice. Medium length. Very tasty.
- Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2011 ($22.90). Very light citrus with a hint of smoke and minerality on the nose. Medium minus body, off dry, medium plus acidity. Citrusy with orange and stone fruit flavours.
MyWinePal’s Red Wine Picks
Aces Okanagan Estate Winery Straight Flush Blush 2010 ($15.90). This wonderful rose is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Pale peach colour in the glass. Nice stone fruit and sweet spice aromas. Light body, fruity with stone fruit and citrus flavours, and a nice spice and acid backbone. Nice!
- Bench 1775 Winery Merlot 2011 ($19.90). This was my surprise red wine of the tasting as I had not had their wines before. I now want to try all their wines. The Merlot was opaque ruby in colour. Interesting nose of apples and plums. On the palate you get soft tannins, and flavours of yellow plum and red cherries. The yellow plum really stands out. Quite a different Merlot. Give it a try.
- Fort Berens Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2010 ($24.99). Deep garnet in colour with light cedar and ripe cherry aromas. Dry, medium plus body with cedar, oak and ripe black fruit flavours. Ripe fruit and vanilla on the finish. This wine won a Double Gold Medal at the All Canadian Wine Championships.
Fort Berens Estate Winery Meritage 2010 ($26.99). A blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, and aged in French and American barrels. Ripe cassis aroma with some cocoa on the nose. Dry, full body with ripe dark fruit and black cherry flavour. High acidity and soft tannins. A bit of cherry pit bitterness on the finish.
- Hester Creek Estate Winery Character 2010 ($19.99). This is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. I enjoyed the nose, with aromas of red cherry, cassis and sausage. Medium body with capsicum, cassis, oak and cinnamon spice and black cherries. Very intense flavour on your palate.
- Lake Breeze Vineyards Seven Poplars Merlot 2009 ($24.99). Deep garnet in the glass with an opaque core. Deep, dark cherry with vanilla aroma. Quite a brooding aroma. Full body, dry but very fruity, with black cherries and ripe plums. Medium tannins. Quite tasty.
- Thornhaven Estates Winery Evolution 2009 ($26.90). A Bordeaux-style blend made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Really deep garnet colour, with a solid core. Dark cherry and coffee aromas on the nose. Full body with dark fruit and cherry flavour. Firm tannins and sweet spices mid palate. This wine has firm tannins, so buy and then hold for 2-3 years before opening.
One final observation, if you check the prices of the wines, most are below $20. So there is a lot of great value BC wines in the sub $20 category. Enjoy!