This week I participated in a virtual Trade Tasting with various media and Blue Grouse Estate Winery‘s owner Paul Brunner and winemaker Bailey Williamson. Paul gave us a brief intro to the geological history of Vancouver Island and the specifics of the soils at their Estate. There was also a discussion of the three vineyard areas, the soils, the grapes planted and their ages. Then Bailey began to talk to us about the two wines we tasted, their Estate Pinot Gris 2019 and Estate Pinot Noir 2017. Both wines are excellent. My initial notes were a little brief, but I’ve added in my notes from today, showing how the wines taste 24 hours after being opened.
My Tasting Notes
Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Gris 2019 (BC $25.99) – Pear skin and lemon colour in the glass. It has toast and pears on the nose, along with some waxiness and butterscotch. The next day to these aromas I add honey, apples, and a whiff of peach. The wine is dry, medium-minus bodied, mineral, with flavours of butterscotch, toast, pears and roasted apples. It has a thicker silky mouthfeel. Some citrus upon first opening. Medium acid balanced with fruit. Some butteriness on the palate. Very similar the next day. The flavours were maybe a little more subtle, but overall an exceptional wine. On the finish you get some light pepperiness. More pears and less apples on the finish.
Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Noir 2017 (BC $37.99) – medium translucent garnet to the core. Nice sweet red fruit, raspberries, floral, sweet spices and cedar on the nose. The aromas were maybe more rich and ripe the next day, plus I picked up candied red cherry aromas. It is medium bodied, semi-round with fine grained light tannins. Medium acidity. Quite floral, along with red fruits, raspberries, red cherries, and sweet spices on the palate. Some candied red fruits and a touch of vanilla. Everything nicely balanced; Fruit, acidity and tannins. Tannins do get a bit drying at the end but still very light. This Pinot Noir can age 4-5 years. A very elegant wine. When you ask what style of Pinot Noir I like, this is what I like. –
If you would like to read about the details of the geology and soils of Vancouver Island and Blue Grouse’s Estate vineyards, please read my article on this topic from last year. Enjoy!
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
These are superb, very small production wines so you need to order them from Blue Grouse, or visit their winery in Duncan, BC. The website says that they are not available, but if you phone them there are some select bottles available. You won’t regret it.