Although France was the theme country this year at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, there was a great contingent of wineries from around the world and from BC to pour their wines for us. Below are wines that I enjoyed from countries other than France. Enjoy!
White and Sparkling Wines
Cantine Giacomo Montresor Rose Royal Brut NV, Italy – Light strawberries and toast on the nose. It is off-dry with higher acidity. Small bubble. Red fruits and red apple flavours. Nice.
Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano Frizzante NV, Italy – Almost opaque ruby colour. Sweet purple fruit and cider nose. Higher acidity and lower tannins. Flavours of red apples, red fruits, and cider. –
Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Chardonnay 2017, Argentina – Nice aromatic vanilla and tropical fruit nose. Dry with medium body and soft mouthfeel. Light lemon, tropical fruit and vanilla flavours with some pepperiness on the finish. A balanced wine. –
Vina Undurraga T.H. Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda) 2017, Chile – Nice green chilies / jalapeno nose; not overpowering. Medium minus body, dry and soft with medium acidity. Jalapeno pepper and crisp crab apple flavours.
Villa Sandi Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut NV, Italy – Fairly aromatic nose showing stone fruits and tropical fruit aromas. Fuller body, off-dry, higher acidity, but still has a nice creamy mouthfeel. Tropical fruit flavours with a herbal edge. Quality. –
Bodega Colome Amalaya Torrontes-Riesling 2018, Argentina – An aromatic nose offering lime and green fruits. Medium body, round and soft with medium acidity. This wine has lime and tart green fruit flavours. –
Vina Santa Ema Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Chile – Very aromatic with lime, lemon and green bean aromas, which continue to the palate. This wine has a medium body with higher acidity. Dry. –
Avanzi Giovanni Franciacorta Saten Romantica NV, Italy – Medium lemon in colour. It has a light intensity flinty nose. It is off-dry but has high acidity to balance it. Crisp apples and toasty flavours. Tiny biting bubbles on your tongue. –
Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Particella 68 Brut 2018, Italy – a very light intensity stone fruit nose. Dry with high acidity and medium-sized creamy bubbles. Tropical fruit flavours. –
Zonin1821 Prosecco Brut Cuvee 1821 DOC NV, Italy – Light intensity lemon-lime nose. Tropical fruits and lime on the palate. It has tiny creamy bubbles. Dryish with some minerality. Good. –
Tyrrell’s Wines Winemakers Selection Vat 1 Hunter Semillon 2014, Australia – Semillon in general from the Hunter Valley in Australia has great ageing potential. This particular wine is from a prestigious vintage and is anticipated to have a 50-year ageing potential. There is no oak contact; 100% stainless steel fermentation. This wine has a bright medium intensity lemon colour with a green tint. It has a smoky, honey, lemon and some stone fruit aromas. It is dry, medium body, with above-average acidity and a waxy mouthfeel. Tart citrus along with toast and vanilla flavours, and some pepperiness on the finish. It’s not quite round, more angular in the mouth. Racy acidity and citrus flavours.
Viña Carmen DO Quijada Semillon 2017, Chile – This wine underwent a wild ferment and was bottled unfiltered. It has a medium intensity bright lemon colour. It is very aromatic with scents of jalapeno pepper, vanilla, white flowers and creme brulee. This wine is fuller-bodied, round with medium acidity. It has a waxy mouthfeel. Cedar, vanilla, creme brulee and tropical fruit flavours. A peppery finish. I can’t say that I noted terroir where I could point to Chile with this wine, but it was very big and flavourful. –
Trere Albana Secca Romagna DOCG “Arlùs” 2018, Italy – a white wine made from the Albana grape. This wine had a medium intensity bright lemon colour. Deeper honey and lemon aromas. It is dry, medium-bodied, with some roundness and silkiness, but still has a higher level of acidity. Flavours of citrus, pears, honey, and floral (chamomile in particular). It has a tart, dry, semi-tannic finish. Enjoy with seafood and shellfish.
Poderi dal Nespoli Pagadebit 2017, Italy – made with 85% Bombino Bianco and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine was a favourite of everyone I spoke with. It has a light lemon-green colour. It is very aromatic showing green beans, jalapeno pepper, honey and green fruit aromas. These aromas carry to the palate. The wine medium-bodied, soft and round with medium acidity and a thicker mouthfeel. Enjoy with sushi and fried fish dishes. –
Monte Delle Vigne Callas 2015, Italy – is made with the Malvasia di Candia Aromatica grape. If you like Gewurztraminer this would be an easy wine to enjoy. It has a light straw colour. Herbal, lemon, honey, and jalapeno pepper nose, along with some petrol. These aromas continue to the palate, but you as well get a peach flavour. This wine is semi-round with higher acidity. I also picked up some bruised crab apple flavours on the mid-palate. Very flavourful. –
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Chardonnay 2018, Australia – It has light tropical fruit aromas that continue to the palate. You also get some creme brulee flavour on the palate. This wine is dry with medium-plus acidity and semi-roundness. Elegant.
Poderi Dal Nespoli Metodo Classico Nespoli Pas Dose NV, Italy – Nice apple aromas. This wine is dry with medium-sized creamy bubbles. Light body with crisp apple flavour.
Clos du Soleil Winery Estate Reserve Red 2013, Canada – BC – The Similkameen Valley where this winery is located has an east-west orientation which causes the area to be quite windy, which then produces a large diurnal temperature change that helps keep a grapes acidity while allowing the flavours to more fully develop. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The grapes undergo a wild ferment followed by oak barrel maturation. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine has a deep dull garnet colour. Intense black fruits along with pencil leads and hints of capsicum on the nose. It has a medium-plus to full body, is dry with a full mouthfeel. Dark ripe fruit and sweet spices to start, followed by red cherries, cedar, vanilla, and pepperiness on the finish. Soft tannins overall from start to finish. –
Bodega Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2016, Argentina – The Adrianna Vineyard was planted in 1992, at 5000 ft elevation asl, covers 5ha, is filled primarily with river stones, and some nearby clay and limestone. The vines are also planted on their own rootstock which some people say provides the truest flavours and aromas This wine has an inky opaque ruby colour. It has deep, ripe black fruit aromas along with clove and some meatiness. The wine has medium-plus body, dry, round and a silky mouthfeel. It has ripe purple fruit flavours along with floral, black pepper, oak, vanilla, and some minerality. Fine ripe tannins. Medium length. –
MASI Agricola Brolo di Campofiorin Oro 2014, Italy – Veneto – This is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Oseleta grapes. It is made in the appassimento method where 30% of the grapes are dried to condense the fruit flavours before fermentation. This wine is a medium intensity dull opaque garnet colour. It has a light leather and dusty red fruit nose. It is dry with a medium-plus body and an angular mouthfeel. I get subdued red fruit flavours and some minerality. Light body with fine tannins. –
Carpineto Poggio Sant’Enrico 2010, Italy – Tuscany – Sant’ Enrico is the best Sangiovese vineyard owned by Carpineto. The soil is made of blue clay. The family began making wine in 1967 with this particular wine being made starting in 1998. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts. This wine was almost completely opaque black garnet in the glass. It had a light graphite, cedar, and dark fruit nose. The wine has a lighter body with medium acidity and tannins. Red fruits and raspberry flavours, finishing with tart red fruits and a drying, puckering finish. A wine that needs some time to age. –
Coronica Wines Gran Teran 2015, Croatia – The Teran grape is indigenous to Croatia, but can also be found in the Veneto region of Italy as a blending grape. This grape variety is thin skin and is easily affected by wind and rain. The best Teran grapes are grown on a “terra rosa” red soil in Croatia. This wine is 100% opaque garnet coloured. It has deep, ripe plum and purple fruit aromas. It is fuller-bodied with higher acidity, light tannins and some minerality. Ripe raspberries a touch of floral, minerality and pepperiness. This wine has a lightly sweet fruit finish. Acidity and fruit drive this wine. –
Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, To-Kalon Vineyard, Napa Valley 2016, California – Napa – The blend for this wine is primarily made from Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is also 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Robert Mondavi knew that the To-Kalon vineyard was where he wanted to plant his grapes. The vineyard receives warm sunny days, cooled by Pacific breezes in the evening to prolong the ripening time, get more intensity, and keep the flavours fresh. This site has an alluvial fan soil type. The gravels get dropped first, giving good drainage, and provides transparency in the wines. This wine has a deep, dull opaque garnet colour. Quite a cedary nose, along with vanilla, cassis and ripe black fruit aromas. It is fuller-bodied, soft and round with lighter acidity and fine, soft tannins. Soft red fruit and cassis flavours, along with light cedar, vanilla and nutmeg.
Wines of Substance Substance Vineyard Collection – Jacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Washington – Walla Walla – This is a wine produced by the single Jacks vineyard, a gravelly soil, and the grapes undergo a natural ferment. This wine has a medium intensity, 50% translucent, brickish red colour. It has a light intensity nose showing red fruit and sweet spices. It is dry, lighter-bodied along with light acidity and tannins. Light ripe red fruit flavours and some pepperiness. Some sweet spices and sweet fruit flavours on the finish. Overall light aromas and flavours. –
Marqués de Riscal Finca Torrea 2016, Spain – Rioja – this winery was established in 1858. It is located a three-hour drive north of Madrid. A blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. The wine label shows a map of all the vineyard parcels that make this wine. It has a deeper, approximately 85%, opaque garnet colour. It has a light intensity red fruit nose along with some dustiness. It is medium-bodied with medium acidity and a round mouthfeel. It is slightly sweet and has red fruit flavours along with some sweet spices. Softer tannins but get drier on the finish. –
Fonseca Vintage Port 2017, Portugal – Fonseca is founded in 1815, located in the Douro Valley, and is the valley has a continental climate. Uses indigenous grapes. There are over 80 red grape varietals that can be used for port production. This port is a field blend of grapes. They have some vines more than 100 years old. When they plant new grapes they try to match the grape variety to the soil where it grows best. All the grapes are picked by hand and put into granite lagars where they are trodden by foot. They needed to foot tread as they did not have access to electricity till 1976 and now continue to foot tread. A vintage port is the best wine a House can make in top years. On average this has been 3 times per decade. This port is opaque; 100% garnet. It has a medium intensity nose with strong cherry and sweet cherries aromas and floral and licorice notes. This port is fuller-bodied with medium acidity and a thicker mouthfeel. It is sweet, very peppery, and has flavours of ripe black and red fruits, plums, cherries, and licorice.
Medici Ermete Quercioli Lambrusco Sorbara NV, Italy – is made with the Lambrusco Sorbara grape. This wine was bright, clear medium intensity orange in colour. It has a light red fruit and candied cherry nose. It is full-bodied, off-dry with acidic prickle on your tongue. Red fruit and cranberry flavours to start then add in red cherries.
Monte Delle Vigne Lambrusco Selezione 2018, Italy – is made with the Lambrusco Maestri grape. This wine was a deep ruby colour and coated the glass when I swirled it. It has a cidery, purple fruit, and blueberry aromas. It has a medium body with high acidity and very tiny fine creamy bubbles that dance on your tongue. Lighter tannins with a hint of oak. Off-dry with ripe purple fruit flavours.
Poderi dal Nespoli Nespolino Romagna 2018, Italy – is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Merlot. This wine was deep, about 80% opaque, dull garnet in colour. It has lots of Old World oak/cedar aroma, along with toast, dark fruits and a hint of capsicum. This wine has a medium-plus body, is dry and fruity with a silky mouthfeel. It has nutmeg, cedar, vanilla, milk chocolate, dark cherries and plums, followed by silk spices. It has light soft tannins. This wine is an easy sipper at a great price point and would do very well on many restaurant wine lists. –
Umberto Cesari Rubicone Sangiovese Tauleto 2013, Italy – is made with 90% Sangiovese Grosso and 10% Uva Longanesi. This wine was about 90% opaque garnet coloured. It had a nut freshly cut cedar aroma. It is medium to full-bodied, dry with a semi-round mouthfeel. Medium-plus acidity. Flavours of ripe red fruits, nutmeg and cedar. It does have a tart puckering finish and drying tannins, along with some pepperiness. I think this wine needs 1-2 years of bottle ageing to soften the tannic finish.
Umberto Cesari Rubicone Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon Liano 2016, Italy – is made with 70% Sangiovese Grosso and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has also very deeply garnet coloured. It has a light intensity dark fruit nose with a hint of nutmeg. It is off-dry with a medium-plus body. It is soft and fruity with lower acidity and softer tannins. The wine has ripe black fruit flavours and sweet spices, with a touch of capsicum and cedar. It has some drying tannins on the finish but they are not very firm. You get sweet fruits and cedar flavours on the finish. –
Chiara Condello Le Lucciole 2015, Italy – is made with 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard less than 1 ha in area. I was told that 2015 was a very good vintage for wines in Italy so stock up. This wine was a medium translucent garnet colour with obvious bricking. Tart red cherries, leather, and cedar on the nose. It is dry and soft with a lighter body, less acidity and soft, fine-grained tannins. The wine has light intensity flavours of red fruit and leather. The tannins get a bit stronger on the finish. An elegant wine.