The Vancouver International Wine Festival 2019 starts February 23. A big part of the festival is attending the International Festival Tasting Room that has 160 wineries attending, pouring a total of 1450 wines. How do you know which wineries you want to make sure you try? California is the theme region, so there will be more wineries from there, compared to other years. And then there are new countries to us, like Croatia and Romania bringing wines for us to taste.
To help guide you to a few wines that I think you may enjoy, I was invited to a Media Preview tasting with a sample of wines across the spectrum; sparkling, red, white, and rosé wines. Below are a few of the wines that I thought were quite tasty, and you will notice that there are BC wines on this list. We hold our own against the world. Enjoy these wines, and enjoy the Festival.
Sparkling and White Wines
Avanzi Romantica Franciacorta NV, Italy – This sparkling wine has a bready, citrus nose. Medium body, soft, medium bubble, off-dry. Apple flavours. Nice.
Bonterra Organic Vineyards Organic Chardonnay 2017, California – Nice nose; vanilla and spearmint. Light intensity nose. Vanilla, apples and spearmint on the palate. Medium body, soft with light acidity. Elegant.
Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc Reserve 2016, California – Light nettles and green fruit on the nose. Dry, medium body and acidity balance. Green fruits with some stone fruit flavours behind. Elegant. –
Share A Splash Wine Company Cannonball 11 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017, California – Light butterscotch and toast on the nose. Medium body, round, with some thickness. Light acidity. Sweet toastiness, sweet spices and roasted apple flavours. Luscious mouthfeel on the finish.
Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Australia – Nice jalapeno pepper nose with more on the palate plus green bean flavours. Dry with a medium plus body and medium acidity. Not overdone. Nice.
Okanagan Crush Pad Free Form Ancient Method 2017, British Columbia – My favourite bubble of the night, and overall wine of the tasting. It has a light apple nose along with some red cherries. Medium body and high acidity. Crisp apple and red cherry flavours. Creamy small bubble. Exciting. –
Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards Tidal Bay 2017, Nova Scotia – Light pine needle and stone fruit nose. Soft with a medium body. Flavorful; fills your mouth with apples, toast, and stone fruit flavours. Medium acidity with a tart finish. Tasty. –
Asahi Shuzo Co. Dassai “23”, Japan – I had a chance to try an amazing sake. It has a light apple and butterscotch nose with more on the palate. Very silky and soft with light acidity. Don’t miss it.
Louis M Martini Winery Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California – Ripe cassis, black fruit and vanilla on the nose. Fuller body with firm big tannins. Medium mouthfeel. Ripe cassis and sweet spices.
Painted Rock Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2015, British Columbia. Light intensity ripe black fruit nose. Medium plus body. Peppery. Black fruit flavours. Medium acidity and tannins. With a little air, you will start to get some capsicum flavour from the Cabernet Franc grape.
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Italy – Light Old World oak and red fruit aromas. Medium minus body, dry, with light acidity and tannins. Bright red fruit and Old World oak on the palate. Old World elegance.
Yealands Family Wines Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017, New Zealand – Smokey, ramble and red fruit nose with more on the palate. Dry, medium minus body, light acidity and fine tannins. Super tasty.
Liliac – The Wine of Transylvania, Feteasca Neagra 2016, Romania – An interesting wine made with a new red grape for me; Feteasca Neagra. It has bramble, red fruit and tea leaves on the nose. More on the palate, plus floral. Off-dry, medium body with light acidity and tannin. Red fruit flavour.
Gil Family Estates Atteca Armas 2016, Spain. Light ripe bramble fruit on the nose. It’s dry, medium plus bodied, and has a mineral streak. Bramble, red fruit, and sweet spice flavours. Peppery finish with firmer tannins. Elegant.