Did you know that at the Festival Tasting room for the Vancouver International Wine Festival this year there will be 700 wines for you to try? France is the theme country and there will be 42 French wineries pouring their wines for you. This is very exciting as there will be wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and more to taste. And in addition, there are wines from other countries around the world, and from BC. What an exciting time this will be for us all attending one of the Festival Tastings. If you haven’t purchased a ticket to one of the Festival tastings, buy it soon before it sells out.
I was fortunate to be invited to a Media preview showing to taste 34 wines out of the 700 that gives a good representation of what you can expect at the Festival. Harry Hertscheg, the Executive Director, of the Festival, very enthusiastically gave us some background on the wines this year and our charity that this supports, Bard on the Beach. The French wines are all very good. There were also very good quality wines from Argentina, BC, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, USA, and Uruguay. In addition, we also had a delicate sake from Japan! Here are a few of the wines that I really enjoyed and you should look for in the Festival Tasting Room. Cheers.
A Few Wines to Try at the Festival Tasting Room
Vignobles Alain Brumont, Chateau Bouscasse Les Jardins Philosophique 2015 – This white wine has a deeper, bright lemon colour. Light green fruit and green fruit skin on the nose. It is fuller-bodied with green fruit and ganja (some may say tea leaves) and toast or flintiness. A very interesting wine. –
Arthur Metz Sushi 2018 – Here is an Alsatian wine that I think is the European version of the successful Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Washington State. It has a light lemon colour and a light lychee perfumed nose. It is lighter bodied with lychee, roses and sweet spice flavours. Off-dry with a touch of acidity. Stylish. WOuld go with sushi. –
M. Chapoutier Tavel Beaurevoir Rosé 2018 – This wine has a pale rose petal colour. Nice strawberry aroma. It is dry with a lighter body and acidity. Light red fruit flavour with a hint of tannic structure. An elegant wine.
Aubert Vignobles Chateau d’Anielle Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 – A deeper translucent ruby in the glass. Licorice on the nose. Medium-plus body showing restrained ripe black fruit flavours. Medium tannins and lighter acidity. –
Domaine Duseigneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Catarina 2017 – 2017 was a very hot year so that they had to pick early which gives this wine lots of acidity. This is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah and has a medium-plus garnet in colour. It has a light intensity nose showing red fruit and some dustiness. It has a medium-plus body with a round mouthfeel. Lower acidity (the feel to me). This wine has floral, vanilla, candied red cherries and red fruit flavours. A peppery finish. Some light sweetness to the wine. –
Gerard Bertrand Cigalus Blanc 2018 – A mix of spearmint and stone fruit aromas, with more on the palate. You also get sweet spices, in particular, clove flavours. This wine is round with a thick mouthfeel. Lower acidity. Vanilla and tropical fruit, and pepperiness toward the finish. –
Domaine Michel Gassier Nostre Pais Blanc 2017 – Light lemon colour. A light sweet stone fruit and honey nose. Medium-plus body with a thick round mouthfeel. Butterscotch toast and ripe tropical fruit flavours along with a touch of pepperiness. Nice.
Champagne Taittinger Prelude Grand Crus NV – a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes for this wine come from all Grand Cru vineyards, which all have a chalky soil. This wine has a lemon/straw colour in the glass. It has a nice toasty nose along with some flintiness. Medium-plus body with crisp apple flavour along with toast and flint. A tiny, creamy bubble.
The Rest of the World
Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2016, Argentina – Argentina is well known for its top-quality Malbec, in part due to the wines from Bodega Catena Zapata. This wine has a deeper ruby colour. A nice toasty and red fruit nose. It is dry with medium body and acidity, and lighter tannins. The wine has a mix of red fruits and bramble on the palate. Very tasty.
CedarCreek Estate Winery Block 4 Pinot Noir 2016, BC – This wine has a light translucent garnet colour. A light floral and red cherry nose. It is fuller-bodied, off-dry and soft mouthfeel. Red fruit flavours with some pepperiness later on. A quality Pinot Noir.
Corcelletes Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2017, BC – Light translucent garnet colour. Smokey raspberries and bramble aromas. It is soft with a medium body. Light tannins. A mix of light red fruit and nutmeg/clove spice. Nice. –
Fort Berens Estate Winery Reserve Riesling 2018, BC – Pale lemon colour. Nice ripe stone fruit plus honey on the nose. This wine is lighter-bodied and has higher acidity but is still very smooth on the palate. It has crips apples, stone fruit and petrol flavour with a mineral edge. An age-worthy wine.
Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2017, BC – A Bordeaux style wine from BC. This one has a medium intensity translucent garnet colour. A mix of bramble and red fruit aromas. It is full-bodied with flavours of dill (very interesting), black fruit and cloves. It has has a chalky feeling to it. Very good. –
Osoyoos Larose Grand Vin 2016, BC – Grand Vin is the flagship red wine from Osoyoos Larose. It has a deeper ruby-garnet colour. A light sweet spice, capsicum and dusty dark fruit nose. It is round, fuller-bodied with firmer tannins. Dark ripe black fruit that are structured. A classically styled wine.
Coronica Wines Grand Teran 2015, Croatia – This red wine is made with their native Teran wines. Grand Teran is only made in exceptional years. It is almost opaque ruby in the glass. It has a nice ripe, candied cherry nose. It is full-bodied with firm tannins and medium acidity. Ripe red fruits and sweet spice flavours.
Weingut Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof Bockstein Kabinett Riesling 2015, Germany – This wine has a light lemon colour. Medium intensity nose showing flower petals and stone fruits. It is semi-sweet with a medium minus body. Petrol, stone fruit, honey and marmalade flavours; complex flavours. Thicker mouthfeel and lighter acidity.
Rocca Delle Macie Rocca Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015, Italy – medium minus intensity translucent garnet in the glass. It has a light red cherry nose. medium body and acidity with red fruit flavours and firm tannins. Can be aged. –
Sorelle Bronca Particella 68 Brut (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG) 2018, Italy – this sparkling wine has a pale lemon colour and a light stone fruit nose. It is round with medium-plus acidity. Juicy fruit gum flavour. Small creamy bubble. –
Herdade Das Servas Reserva Red 2013, Portugal – Deep translucent ruby in the glass. Lots of cedar and red fruit on the nose and the palate. Medium body, dry with chalky tannins. Some capsicum, vanilla and pepperiness on the finish. Yum.
Liliac – The Wine of Transylvania Feteasca Regala 2017, Romania – This white wine is made from the indigenous Feteasca Regala grape. It has a fresh spearmint, stone fruit and honey nose, with more on the palate. It is dry, with medium body and acidity. I also picked up some green fruit flavours as well. A solid white wine. –
Bodega Garzon Reserva Tannat 2016, Uruguay – This wine has a medium intensity ruby colour and a ripe red fruit nose. It is fuller-bodied but has a lighter mouthfeel. Medium-plus intensity tannins. Lively, ripe red fruit and a touch of capsicum on the palate. Some pepperiness as well. –