MyWinePal Picks from the 2013 Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting

Gold in Pan

Gold in Pan (courtesy AlaskaMining Wikipedia)

Have you ever felt like you have a daunting task, but persevere with the hope you will discover a few gold nuggets? I’m sure many BC prospectors felt this as they searched for gold in Barkerville and further north. This is also how I feel when I attend the Colour BC VQA tastings. There are so many BC VQA wines to try. You cannot try them all, but persevere and hope that you hit some nuggets. And I always do, and pass them along to you. ¬†We all share in the wealth!

A Few Quick BC Wine Stats

But before we get into the gold, let me tell you a few quick statistics about BC wines and regions (from the

  • There are now over 220 grape wineries in BC
  • BC grows more than 75 different grape varieties
  • Merlot is the most planted grape in BC
  • Pinot Gris is the most planted white grape in BC
  • BC wines received more than 2,000 awareds in 2012

Check out my May 2012 article about my BC VQA Spring tasting; compare the stats and see what has changed in a little over a year in BC.

My Wine Picks

As always, there are more wines than you can try in one tasting, so I try to pick and choose wineries I don’t know much about, new wineries, and wineries I know but may have something that I have not yet tasted. ¬†If you attended this tasting and you found a gem, please post a comment below. ¬†Here are my finds:

Sparkling and White Wine Selections

  • Gray Monk Odyssey White Brut 2011

    Gray Monk Odyssey White Brut 2011

    Grey Monk Estate Winery Odyssey White Brut 2011 ($24.99). This sparkler is made with Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay Musque, and Riesling grapes.  Very light bread and white peach aromas.  Light creamy bubbles with a waxy edge, citrus flavour.  Dry and elegant.

  • Grey Monk Estate Winery Gewurztraminer 2012¬†($16.99). Light lychee and rose petals nose. ¬†Light body, dry but quite fruity, with flavours of lychee, lime and peach. ¬†Medium acidity. Light spice on the finish. ¬†Chinese food or a light curry might be the right match.
  • Howling Bluff Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2012¬†($18). Peach skin nose. ¬†Light body, higher acidity, dry, very juicy with ripe stone fruit flavours. Nice!
  • Intersection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier 2012

    Intersection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier 2012

    Intersection Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve Barrel Fermented 2012. Although barrel fermented you just get a hint of oak and vanilla, which should make this wine a hit with everyone.  Light citrus with a hint of oak on the nose.  Round, soft, medium minus body.  Tropical fruit flavour grows as it lingers in your mouth.  Followed by sweet spice and acidity.

  • Joiefarm En Famile Reserve Chardonnay 2011¬†($27.90). What can I say about this wine? ¬†It was quite amazing as every component of this wine; the fruit, sugar, acidity, and oak were perfectly in balance and totally integrated. ¬†Light citrus and stone fruit nose. ¬†Dry with light body, tropical fruit flavours and cinnamon spice on the palate.
  • Lake Breeze Semillon 2012. This is one of my surprise wines of the event. ¬†I am a Semillon fan, but not many people know much about the grape. ¬†Don’t be afraid of this wine; try it. ¬†It has a light peachy nose. ¬†Medium minus body, soft and round with peach and citrus flavours.
  • Maverick Estate Origin and Pinot Gris 2011

    Maverick Estate Origin and Pinot Gris 2011

    Maverick Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2011 ($19.90). A relatively new winery in BC, but the owner, Bertus Albertyn, is a past wine maker for Burrowing Owl in the Okanagan.  He hails from South Africa, where the wine style sits comfortably between Old World restraint and New World fruit and vibrancy. I was charmed by this Pinot Gris.  It is quite aromatic with stone fruit and a sweet spice edge on the nose.  Medium body, round with medium acidity.  Stone fruit and peach flavours with a hint of mint.  Very tasty.

  • Meyer Family Vineyards Tribute Chardonnay 2011¬†($30). Every year the Meyer Family pays tribute to a BC local. ¬†This year it is¬†Winnifred Mary Stewart¬†founded the first school in western Canada for children with developmental disabilities in 1953. In 2013 the Winnifred Stewart Association which she created will celebrate its 60th Anniversary. ¬†Light tropical fruit and vanilla nose. ¬†Medium body, dry with soft mouth feel. ¬†The tropical fruit follows on the palate together with some nutmeg spice. ¬†Citrus and vanilla on the finish. ¬†A very elegant wine.
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2012¬†($17.99). Fort Berens is located in the Lillooet area, one of the new emerging wine regions in BC. ¬†I’ve commented on their wines before. ¬†I didn’t try any reds today, but I’ve really enjoyed the bottles I’ve tried before. This wine has a nice light stone fruit nose. ¬†Light body, soft mouth feel, ¬†with a medium stone fruit flavour that builds in intensity in your mouth. Quite remarkable. Take time to aerate this wine in your mouth before swallowing.

Red Wine Selections

  • Black Hills Estate Winery Syrah 2010

    Black Hills Estate Winery Syrah 2010

    Black Hills Estate Winery Syrah 2011 ($35). Rich chocolate, black fruit and spice aromas. Medium body but a light mouth feel.  Ripe black fruit, milk chocolate and coffee flavours.  Quite complex flavour profile.  An elegant Syrah.

  • Gold Hill Syrah II 2011 ($26.90). Light berry, raspberry nose. ¬†Dry with soft tannins and medium acidity. ¬†It starts out with licorice then adds blueberries and a light touch of vanilla. ¬†Soft finish. ¬†A really easy Syrah to sip and enjoy!
  • Maverick Estate Rubicon 2011¬†($23.90).¬†Bertus Albertyn crossed the Rubicon with this wine and didn’t look back. ¬†A wonderful Bordeaux blend, it was nearly opaque ruby in the glass. Medium intensity, restrained aromas of cassis and oak. ¬†Very juicy black fruit and cassis followed by vanilla. ¬†Dry with soft tannins. Buy it.
  • Mount Boucherie Family Estate Winery Summit Reserve Merlot 2008 ($21). Light translucent brick colour in the glass. ¬†Light cherry, tea leaves and vanilla aromas. ¬†Medium body, dry with cherries and plums on the palate. ¬†Medium plus tannins with a spicy finish. ¬†An elegant wine.
  • Orofino Pinot Noir 2011Orofino Vineyards Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 ($31.90). I enjoyed the violets and cherry aromas of this wine. ¬†The violets continued on the palate together with some cinnamon, followed by cherries and nutmeg flavours. ¬†Light body with soft tannins.
  • Stoneboat Vineyards Pinotage 2010 ($24.90). Smoky raspberry nose. ¬†Medium plus body, dry with a heavy mouth feel. ¬†Firm tannins. ¬†Primarily cherries on the palate. ¬†A very masculine wine, when compared to The View Winery Fossil Fuel, whih is another Pinotage.
  • The View Winery Fossil Fuel 2012. This wine is a blend of 95% Pinotage and 5% Baco Noir. ¬†Nice nose with aromas of red cherries and vanilla. ¬†Medium body, dry with higher acidity. ¬†Red cherries and vanilla on the palate followed by sweet spice. ¬†Light mouth feel.

Give these wines a try. Hopefully you will be able to get them in a BC government liquor store, or one of the private wine stores across BC.  Again, I love feedback, so if you tasted a wine at the event that you think is notable, then note it in the Comments section. Enjoy!