When we drink wine, we probably think of wines made from vitis vinifera grapes like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah. But there are grapes that are a hybrid between vitis vinifera and another vitis species, such as labrusca or riparia. Why would you do this? One reason is to make the vine more resistant to cold winters which can kill vitis vinifera vine. Another is that these hybrids can be more tolerant to powdery mildew and other diseases, and can ripen more quickly which helps for those areas in the world with a shorter growing season.
Why am I telling you this? Because the two sparkling wines I have reviewed for you from Monte Creek Ranch were made with hybrid grapes. The Marquette, La Crescent, and Frontenac Blanc grapes that they grow in their vineyard were developed by the University of Minnesota to withstand cold weather. And if you didn’t know, it can get very cold in Kamloops in the winter. The aromas and flavours of these wines are fairly pronounced, and can be a little unique, when compared to vitis vinifera. It is always interesting to be introduced to new aromas and flavours in wines. It keeps the enjoyment of wine tasting and pairing with food exciting. I enjoyed both these wines on the patio, and tasted them with assorted cheese, crackers, dried fruits, and grilled sausages and they worked quite well together.
My Tasting Notes
Monte Creek Ranch Sparkling 2019 (BC est $21.99) – a blend of 53% La Crescent and 47% Frontenac Blanc. It has a light straw colour. Nice aromatics of apples, lime and tropical fruit. It is off-dry with a medium sized creamy bubble. Medium acidity. Tropical fruit, in particular pineapple, flavour and some lychee with air. A fun bubble.
Monte Creek Ranch Sparkling Rosé 2019 (BC est $21.99) – Made from 100% Marquette grapes. This wine has a clear bright rhubarb colour in the glass. An interesting nose that reminds me of Italian Lambrusco, with rhubarb and cider aromas. It has bigger bubbles that dissipate quickly. It is off-dry with red cherries and candied cherries, along with rhubarb. Again reminding me of Lambrusco wine. It made a tasty pairing with a rice cracker topped with goat cheese. –
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
Monte Creek Ranch does offer sales of their wines through their Buy Wine web page. If you live in the lower mainland or the Fraser Valley, Monte Creek Ranch does have an interactive web map finder. On this web page is also information about where you can buy their wines outside of BC.