This is my second year attending Top Drop Vancouver, where small-scale producers from around the world show us their hand crafted wines. According to Top Drop, “Our focus is terroir-influenced, handcrafted wines, and the people behind them. W e believe in the importance in farming one’s own fruit and/or being constantly engaged with grape-growers to ensure sustainability and a high standard of viticultural practices. W e believe in wines that reflect their vintage, and wines that aren’t suffocated by vinicultural trickery. We believe in wine making decisions that are made by a wine and not by a board of directors or marketing team. We believe in those who take chances. We believe these kinds of wines, honest wines of integrity, need a time and place to have their story told.”
We all want to hear the story about a wine, a winery, wine maker, and winery owner. It makes the wine make more sense when it reaches your lips, engages your nose and taste buds, and brings a vision in your mind to what you are sipping in the glass. Following are some of those small-scale producers and their wines that I thought were excellent, and encourage you to find them, either in the BCLDB or your neighbourhood wine shop. There are wines from BC and Ontario in the list, which shouldn’t surprise you as we do make Top Drop wines.
My Wine Picks from Top Drop Vancouver
White and Sparkling Wines
Alta Alella Privat Brut Nature Rose 2013, Spain – Nice red fruit nose together with some lees. Higher acidity, dry with light body. Creamy bubble. Red fruit flavours.
Alta Alella Private Laieta Gran Reserva NV, Spain – Complex nose, with apples and perhaps butterscotch? Medium plus acidity, dry, small creamy bubble. A mix of tart and bruised apple flavours.
Caves Bernard Massard Cuvee Chardonnay NV, Luxembourg – This sparkling wine is possibly my first wine to taste from Luxembourg. It has light flowers and stone fruit aromas in the glass. High acid with small creamy bubbles. Citrus and stone fruit flavours. Medium length. Nice.
Chappellet Chardonnay 2014, California – Light toasty nose. Dry, medium plus body. Soft and silky in the mouth. Light toast, sweet spices, and apple flavours. Quality.
Corvezzo Terre di Marca Organic Prosecco DOC NV, Italy – Light floral and ripe stone fruit aromas. Dry, medium bubble, with flavours of ripe raspberries, stone fruits, and apples. Wow! Very tasty.
Champagne Devaux Blanc de Noirs NV, France – Nutty, bruised apple nose. More nuttiness and tart bruised apple flavours. Dry, almost flat, no bubbles. Some minerality. –
Masseria Li Veli Fiano IGT 2016, Italy – I really liked the nose on this wine with a mix of lychee, honey, orange, and ripe stone fruits. Dry, medium plus body, soft, with medium minus acidity. Mainly orange flavour on the palate.
Musella Bianco del Drago 2014, Italy – A wine made from the Garganega grape. It has a toasty apple nose. Light body and mouth feel. Dry and soft with a mineral component. Apples and toast flavours. Elegant.
Roche Wines Pinot Gris 2015, BC – Light toast along with sweet spice and apple aromas. Medium plus body, soft and silky, mineral, with stone fruit flavours, light sweet spice and some pepperiness.
Tawse Winery Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling 2014, Ontario – Light ripe apple nose along with some petrol. Off-dry with light acidic prickle on the tongue. Apples with light petrol on the palate.
Truchard Chardonnay 2015, California – Medium toast and tropical fruit aromas. Medium body, soft mouthfeel. Light tropical fruit flavours. Tasty.
Truchard Rousanne 2014, California – Nice nose; aromas of honeyed stone fruits. Medium body, round, with a fuller mouth feel. Rich, ripe fruit flavour; apples in particular. Some sweet spices.
Villa Wolf Dry Riesling NV, Germany – Light lychee and floral nose. Dry, medium body. Angular, not round in the mouth. Lime and green fruit flavours, followed by oranges later.
Domaine Boutinot La Cote Sauvage Cairanne CDRV 2014 , France – Flowers and raspberries on the nose. Medium body with a lighter mouth feel and firmer tannins. The flowers and raspberries continue to the palate, along with medium intensity oak. A very good wine from the Rhone.
Domaine Boutinot Les Six Cairanne CDRV 2014, France – Floral perfume and red cherry aromas in the glass. Medium plus body, dry, with more floral and raspberry flavours. Feminine in style. Elegant.
Musella Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 2009, Italy – A mix of bruised apples and red fruit aromas. Medium body and mouth feel. Drying, firm tannins. Red fruit, sweet red cherries and peppery flavours. –
Musella Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013, Italy – Very nice nose. Candied red fruit and vanilla. Medium minus body with light mouth feel. Dry. Light, bright fruit flavours; red cherries and red fruits. Firmer tannins on the finish.
Roche Wines Pinot Noir 2014, BC – Smoky/flinty red fruit nose. Dry, light mouth feel. Red fruit and sweet spices. Light tannins. Some tea leaves and minerality. An elegant Pinot.
Vietti Barbera d’Alba Tre Vigne 2014, Italy – All of the wines I tried from Vietti were excellent. This one has a nice full red fruit nose. Light body, round and dry, with soft tannins. Red fruit and some Old World Style oak. –
Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco 2014, Italy – Deeper, richer red fruit nose, in comparison to the Barbera d’Alba. Dry, fuller bodied and round. Ripe red fruit along with a hint of floral. The tannins in this wine get stronger to the finish.
Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2012, Italy – Light intensity aromas of roses and sweet red fruits. Medium minus body, medium mouth feel. Firm tannins. Juicy red fruit and red cherries. Really firm tannic finish. –