The Canada Day long weekend celebration is this weekend. Picnics and bbq and generally getting together with friends and family will happen. Enjoying this scene with Canadian wine would make it even better in my opinion. Below is a list of Canadian wines I tasted over the past year that I think would be fun to have this long weekend. Enjoy.
Nova Scotia Wines
l’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut Estate Organic 2013, Nova Scotia – Citrus and lees on the nose. Nice medium-sized, creamy bubble. Crisp apple flavour. Dry. Very nice sparkling wine from Nova Scotia.
l’Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvee Rosé Organic 2016, Nova Scotia – Another nice Nova Scotia sparkler. This one has roasted apple aromas. High acidity with tiny, creamy bubble. High acidity with an off-dry finish.
Harper’s Trail Field Blend White 2018 ($13.99) – This is a blend of 43.1% Pinot Gris, 29.2% Chardonnay, 24.2% Riesling, and 3.4% Gewürztraminer. In a brown coloured Riesling style bottle. Medium lemon colour. Bright in the glass. Medium plus intensity, ripe juicy tropical fruit flavour along with some grapefruit, white floral and pears. Very aromatic. With decanting you get deeper fruit aromas and some butterscotch. The wine is dry with higher acidity and a bigger body. Some roundness but there is a tiny acidic bite to this wine. You get rich, ripe tropical fruit from start to finish, with lesser amounts of pears, peaches and yellow apple. With decanting the wine is not as acidic, so tastes slightly off-dry. The wine also feels rounder in your mouth. The wine has a medium plus length finishing slightly off-dry, with bramble leaf, citrus pith and citrus, then at the very end lingering pepperiness. With decanting you get a softer finish, with no pith or bramble. A tasty wine.
SpearHead Winery Pinot Gris 2018 – Grapes come from their Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland. The grapes are hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. 10% of the settled juice is fermented in 2-year-old French oak barrels with the remainder fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine is a lighter lemon with a green tint in colour. Quite aromatic grapefruit aroma with touches of honey, peach and bramble leaf. With decanting the grapefruit aroma lessens and you get tropical fruit aromatics. The wine is slightly off-dry, with a nice mouth mouthfeel. Medium plus body. I really picked up salty minerality on this wine. A mix of grapefruit (most), citrus, and then peach flavours. Some pepperiness on the mid-palate to the finish. The flavour profile stays the same with decanting, so no need to decant. Tart citrus and grapefruit along with some pepperiness on a long finish for this wine. Very tasty.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard Pinot Gris 2018 – Grapes from 2 different vineyards, one north and the other in the south Cowichan valley were harvest to provide different flavour profiles for this wine. The grapes were fermented separately in stainless steel then blended after 3 months of lees contact. No malolactic fermentation. A lighter bright lemon colour in the glass. Light intensity nose showing pear and honey. The wine is dry with some roundness and a thicker mouthfeel. Higher acidity. Honey/marmalade, yellow fruits, pears, and light pepperiness on the palate. Quality.
C.C. Jentsch Cellars Viognier 2016 ($17.70++) – This wine has a nice aromatic orange nose. It is off-dry with medium acidity and body. A mix of tropical fruit and orange flavours. Tasty! –
Harper’s Trail Rosé 2018 ($16.99) – This Rosé is a blend of 93% Pinot Gris and 7% Cabernet Franc. A new rose blend for me. It is not that common to mix a white and red wine to make a Rosé wine, but it comes with the benefit that you can blend the aromas and flavours of two different grapes. It has a light bright orange colour. Bright aromas and flavours. Rhubarb and red fruits with a touch of lime and bramble leaf on the nose. It is dry, medium bodied with some roundness and acidic prickle. Mostly red fruits, strawberries in particular, on the palate with a touch of floral and bramble leaf. I also picked up some tropical fruit on the mid-palate. Acidity and pepperiness build toward the finish. With decanting the wine adds a smoky component and red cherry flavours, and becomes more peppery. It finishes with bramble leaf and strawberry flavours. Maybe try with a piece of smoked cheese or charcuterie.
Monte Creek Ranch Pinot Noir 2017 ($20.49 at winery) – This wine is a translucent medium plus garnet colour. Medium intensity nose showing red fruits, raspberries, red cherries, floral and sweet spices in equal proportions. With decanting you get more red cherries and a hint of smoke. The wine is dry, medium bodied, with medium acidity and lighter fine tannins. Semi-round mouthfeel. It is quite floral and also has raspberries and other red fruits, red cherry, and plum fruit flavours. Light vanilla and oak as well. With decanting the wine shows lots of bright red fruit flavours and less plum. The wine has a medium plus length finishing with red fruit, plums, sweet spices and a hint of cocoa on first opening. Light tannins on the finish. Some pepperiness and oak. Decanting recommended. This wine could be aged 2-4 years.
Osoyoos Larose Pétales d’Osoyoos 2015 (BC $28.99) – This wine is almost a solid deep garnet in colour. It has an enticing, medium plus intensity nose with ripe sweet black fruit, blackberries, raspberries, vanilla, nutmeg, cedar, and a touch of capsicum aromas. The vanilla note feels like it floats above the fruit aromas.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Merlot 2016 ($23.99++) – The wine is a deep garnet colour but is still translucent to the core. Medium intensity nose, showing lees, red fruit, black cherries, and a touch of sweet spices and oak. The wine is dry, roundish with a good tannic structure. Fuller bodied and full fruit flavoured; ripe berries, raspberries, black and red fruits, and red cherries. Also clove and oak, and a hint of chocolate. Medium plus length, finishing peppery with flavours of red and black fruit and light vanilla, sweet spices and oak. With decanting the aromas were lighter while the flavours stayed the same.
Road 13 Seventy-Four K 2017 – If you were to line up their vineyard rows end to end and walk, you would walk 74km. This wine is dedicated to their vineyard workers who walk this 74km distance at least once, if not more than once every year. This wine is a blend, primarily made from Merlot, with lesser amounts of Syrah, Viognier, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay Noir. It has a very deep garnet & ruby colour in the glass. Lighter nose, with mingled aromas of smoke, bramble, spiced sausage, sweet spices, ripe raspberries, red fruit, and touches of nutmeg and cinnamon. I quite enjoyed the aromatics of this wine. With decanting the aromas were not quite as strong. The wine is slightly off-dry, soft and round with medium acidity and tannins. A mix of rich, ripe sweet red and black fruits, as well as some tart red fruits. Nutmeg and cinnamon spice and a hint of minerality. Bramble berries and leaves. Integrated oak. Dark chocolate toward the finish. A longer length, finishing with light pepper & vanilla, and firmer tannins. The fruit flavours linger for a while. With decanting the tannins feel stronger and the sweet spices are more subdued. No need to decant.
Gold Hill Cabernet Merlot 2016 ($24.99) – Down to 13.8% alcohol and it shows in the glass and on the palate. The wine is medium translucent garnet in colour. Beguiling medium intensity aromas of nutmeg and allspice, ripe sweet red fruit, in particular raspberries, along with blackberries and ripe plums. The wine is dry, but very silky and has a thick mouthfeel. A mix of ripe red (less) and black (more) fruits, plum, along with a touch of oak, then sweet spices toward the finish. Also a touch of dark chocolate, but this lessens with decanting. Fine tannins and medium acidity. There is oak but it becomes more noticeable toward the finish. Medium plus length finishing with tart black fruit and pepperiness. The tannins are firmer with decanting. Easy to love this wine.
TIME Winery Meritage 2016 – This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc grapes. It is deeply coloured, with a mix of ruby and garnet colours. The wine has a medium intensity, youthful favours, of juicy purple fruits, ripe red fruits, plums, light oak and sweet spices, and with air a hint of capsicum and green stems. The wine is slightly off-dry, with medium acidity and tannins, but medium plus body and flavour intensity. Flavours of red and black fruits, ripe plums, red cherries, with hints of oak, capsicum, cloves, and dark chocolate. I enjoyed tasting this wine as the flavours meandered, with one becoming stronger, then waning, while another flavour became more predominant. The wine is round with a fuller mouthfeel, and a backbone with equal parts of tannins and acidity. With decanting I picked up some perfume and cedar in this wine. The wine finishes with sweet spices, light vanilla, ripe, sweet black fruits, and some pepperiness. Fine tannins. A very good quality wine.
Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc Malbec 2015 – A 50/50 blend between the two grapes, all coming from the Oxbow Vineyard on the West Bench, Osoyoos. Dull, garnet colour, solid at the core, but transparent toward the edges. Medium plus intensity nose; an interesting mix of smoke, black fruit, floral, nutmeg, black pepper and some tarriness. With decanting more black fruit, raspberries, and a green edge. It is dry and round, with medium intensity tannins, and a fuller mouthfeel. Ripe dark fruit flavours, ripe plums, and a mix of cedar and nutmeg spice. Understated oak. Fine tannins that get firmer on the finish. Medium plus length, finishing with black pepper, black fruit, nutmeg, and some chalkiness. Lingering notes of red cherries and cedar.
Rust Wine Co. Gamay 2017 – Gamay may not jump out at a grape you know much about, but it is very similar to Pinot Noir at a lower price point. Have you heard of Beaujolais wine? That is made from Gamay. I will write more about Gamay grapes in an upcoming article but read on about this wine. It has a juicy nose with aromas of bramble and raspberries. Medium plus body and acidity. Bramble and spice flavours, along with a mineral streak. Light tannins. –
Tightrope Winery Cabernet Franc 2016 – one of the wines that surprised me at the tasting. So good. It has capsicum (a characteristic of Cab Franc), red cherries, and sweet spices on the nose. It is dry and round, with firmer tannins. Lighter mouthfeel. Red cherries and vanilla on the palate primarily with a touch of floral and some pepper on the finish. –