My First 5 Star Red and White Wines for 2016

At the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) tastings, held most months, gives the Trade a chance to try the latest wines and spirits coming to Vancouver.  There are always a few gems that people come across and spread the word, so that you have to find that table and try that wine.  At this tasting, the whispers were to try the new wines from Turkey. I don’t think I remember ever seeing Turkish wines in BC, so made sure that I did try them.  My notes on their wines are below, but what I first wanted to tell you about are my first 5 Star Rated wines for 2016.  I found a red and a white wine that I thought were of excellent quality.

My First Five Star Rated Wines for 2016

Cono Sur Viognier Reserva Especial 2013, Chile  – Ripe pears and the nose, which followed through onto the palate.  This wine has medium plus body, round, and full of fruit.  I mentioned pears, but there was also flavours of dried peaches.  The wine was so full flavoured, it almost tasted off-dry.  Medium plus acidity to keep the wine balanced.  5 stars

Pio Cesare Barolo 2011, Italy – A winery principal from Pio Cesar will be at the Vancouver International Wine Festival this Feb 2016, and if this wine is any indication, then you will be in for a treat when you taste their other wines.  I have tasted some Pio Cesare wines before at other events, and they always stand out in my wine. This wine has a beautiful nose with red fruit and cedar.  Light body, dry with medium tannins.  Red cherries, apples and oak.  A very elegant wine! 5 stars

Cono Sur Viognier Reserva Especial 2013 and Pio Cesare Barolo 2011

Cono Sur Viognier Reserva Especial 2013 and Pio Cesare Barolo 2011

Other Nice Wines

Encanto Godello 2014, Cambria Estate Winery Katherines Vineyard Chardonnay 2012, Domini Veneti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010

Encanto Godello 2014, Cambria Estate Winery Katherines Vineyard Chardonnay 2012, Domini Veneti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010

Encanto Godello 2014, Spain – Honeyed apricot nose.  Dry, medium body, and feels fat in your mouth.  Light apple flavours. 4.5 stars

Cambria Estate Winery, Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2012, California – Light light citrus, vanilla and peach aromas.  Medium minus body and medium acidity.  Apples, peach and butterscotch flavour.  4.5 stars

Favo Pinot Grigio, Italy (~$14) – Very light peaches and apples on the nose.  Dry, round, medium bodied.  Light stone fruit flavour. A nice price for this easy sipper. 4 stars

Domini Veneti Vigneti di Iago Classico 2005, Italy – Dried red cherries and flint, followed by beef jerky on the nose.  A bit of an odd nose but it is the tertiary aromas now coming out.  It is not off-putting.  Dry, medium body with more dried and fresh red cherries, flint and vanilla, together with some spiciness. 4.5 stars

Domini Veneti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010, Italy – Sweet ripe cherries and a hint of capsicum on the nose.  Off-dry, very soft with light mouth feel.  Red cherries, vanilla and apples on the palate. Tasty. 4 stars

L.A. Cetto Chenin Blanc 2013, Mexico – I bet you didn’t know that wine is made in Mexico.  But there is, and L.A. Cetto is prime producer that I have followed for many years.  This wine has a very light stone fruit nose.  Medium body and round, with medium acidity.  Red delicious apples and stone fruit flavours.  A very balanced wine. 4 stars

If it looks like Italy made a mark on me this tasting, you are right.  I also think more Italian wines are hitting our market thanks to the upcoming Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Turkish Wines

As I mentioned, there was quite a bit of chatter about the Turkish wines being poured at the IVSA.  I was able to try 4 wines from Suvla Wines.  I tried wines from their “Kabatepe” and “Kirte” lines.  Kabatepe wines are young blended wines, with no oak, and no bottle aging.  These wines are meant to be consumed in 1-2 years.  The Kirte wines are also blends, but have a little oak aging, and can be consumed in 1-3 years.

Suvla Kabatepe White 2014 – is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Roussanne, and Marsanne.  French varieties covering most wine regions in France.  It has a very light citrus and apple aromas.  Nice sweet spices with apples and white flowers on the palate.  Dry and quite round, with medium acidity. 4 stars

Suvla Kabatepe Red 2013 – is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Karasakiz, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes. Karaskiz is a native grape to Turkey, low acid with red fruit flavours.  This wine was very aromatic, with sweet red currants and vanilla, with “Old World” oak on the nose.  Medium body, lighter mouth feel, with cherries, cranberries, some sweet spices and more of that Old World oak flavour. 4 stars

Suvla Kirte 2011 – is a red blend with French grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.  No native Turkish grapes.  Deep ruby colour in the glass.  Very fruity nose, with candied cherries, dark fruit and vanilla aromas.  Full body, dry with kirschwasser and ripe cherries flavours, and light oak treatment.  Medium plus tannins on the finish. 4 stars

Suvla Kabatepe White 2014 and Suvla Kirte 2011

Suvla Kabatepe White 2014 and Suvla Kirte 2011

I believe these wines are currently all SPEC.  Maybe you will see them showing up in private wine shops soon.