Backyard Vineyards is a winery that you may not have heard about, but they are located so close by if you live in the Vancouver lower mainland. Their winery and tasting room is in Langley. I’ve visited them for many years and I recently touched base with them again to find out what is new at the winery. They sent me 5 of their latest released wines for me to try. As I opened the box, I was surprised to see a new and very nicely designed label. You see the shape of a wooden Adirondack chair with the centre wooden slat shaped like a wine bottle. The background for the label shows wood grain, which points back to the chair and is coloured with a striking shade of blue. I really like the label. It asks you to sit back and enjoy this wine with friends and family. The back label for all the wines has the slogan “Sit Back, Relax & Enjoy!” which further reinforces the front label which calls each wine “Social“. I think it also points to the potential wine buyer that this is a wine to open and enjoy. Not all wines have to be deep, dense, and super serious. Wine is also about having fun and enjoying life. And I enjoyed tasting these wines. Let me tell you about them.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Backyard Vineyards Social Pinot Gris 2018 – has a bright medium lemon colour in the glass. A pronounced, youthful nose, with gobs of fresh pears and other stone fruits, along with pineapple and some toasty smokiness. The wine is dry, with a medium minus body and a precise angular mouthfeel. There is some acidic prickle providing structure to the wine. I get mainly pears with lesser amounts of peach, apple seed bitterness and toastiness. The wine has a mineral component intertwined with the fruit flavours. Maybe some stoniness toward the finish. It has a medium-plus length finishing with tart fruit and pear skin flavours.
Rating: Lots of fresh BC stonefruit aromas and flavours, in particular pears, for this tasty Pinot Gris.
Backyard Vineyards Social Chardonnay 2018 – has a medium-plus bright lemon colour. A lighter yet rich, ripe pineapple nose, together with a touch of vanilla and oak. The wine is slightly off-dry with a thicker mouthfeel. It is semi-round and has a slight acidic prickle to it. Medium-plus body and flavours of mostly ripe pineapple and lesser amounts of pears, vanilla and oak. With decanting the wine has a lighter mouthfeel. There is enough acidity to balance out the thicker mouthfeel to keep the wine feeling lively. It has a longer length, finishing with some oak, ripe pineapple and pepperiness; the pepperiness diminishing with decanting. You also get some bitterness toward the finish which is a bit distracting from the fruit flavours. A bigger riper Chardonnay from Backyard Vineyards.
Rating: – This wine has bigger, riper pineapple aromas and flavours. You get a thicker mouthfeel, but you have it balanced by acidity to keep this wine refreshing. Enjoy with roast chicken.
Backyard Vineyards Social Bacchus 2018 – This wine has a lighter intensity bright colour; lemon with a green tint. It has a very pronounced youthful nose; lots of lime along with pine needles and peach in the background. With decanting the peach aroma gets a bit stronger while lime and pine needles lessen a bit. The wine is slightly off-dry but the sweetness is offset by high acidity, so you shouldn’t notice the bit of sweetness. It is medium-plus bodied and has pronounced flavours; Mostly lime but also lemon and a lesser amount of pine needle and peach. There is also some bramble leaf and citrus pith toward the finish. Peaches and pine needle flavours with tart acidity on a longer finish. With decanting the acidity softens a bit and the pine needle flavour is reduced. A bright fresh wine waiting for ceviche. Decanting or not it is tasty.
Rating: – Lots of vibrant acidity and lime flavour together with pine needles and a touch of peach flavours. Enjoy with ceviche or other fresh fish dishes.
Backyard Vineyards Social Syrah 2017 – Medium-plus intensity garnet, about 60% opaque, translucent to the core. It has a medium intensity nose with mostly smoky and meaty tones. There is also a light amount of ripe black fruit and a hint of floral aromas. With decanting there is less smokiness and more red fruit aromas. The wine is slightly off-dry, medium body with a smooth mouthfeel; no major tannins and low acidity. Mostly subdued red fruit flavours, in particular, ripe raspberries along with blackberries and a hint of floral. I also pick up some minerality to this wine. A light touch of oak. With decanting you get some toasty and smoky notes on the palate. The wine finishes slightly off-dry with very low tannins on the finish. Mostly red fruit with some pepperiness on the finish.
Rating: A light red fruit flavours Syrah. Very light tannins and shows some Syrah pepperiness on the finish.
Backyard Vineyards Social Cabernet Merlot 2017 – A deep garnet colour with some ruby mixed in. Approximately 90% opaque in the glass. It has a higher intensity aromas showing ripe ripe black fruit, lesser red fruit, and support by sweet spices, vanilla and oak. With decanting I picked up some banana aroma as well. The wine is slightly off-dry, medium body, and an almost silky light mouthfeel. Floral and red fruit, in particular raspberries, red plums and red cherry flavours. There is a combination of minerality and fine-grained tannins intermingled as well. A touch of nutmeg and candied cherries appear toward the finish. With decanting the wine took on more black fruit tones. A medium plus length finishing with fine light tannins, and a mix of ripe and tart fruit flavours, sweet spices and some pepperiness. Good structure. Elegant.
Rating: A very nice red wine that starts off with red fruit flavours then adds black fruits with decanting. It has a light mouthfeel and includes floral and mineral notes. Elegant.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
Why not drive to Langley and taste the wines and buy them at the same time? If you can’t drive out to visit them, you can order the wines online from their website. Some of their other wines are carried by the BC Liquor stores. Check in with your local wine shop as they may carry their wines.