Here are two more white Rhone Valley grape varieties that are made by Church & State Wines. The Viognier and Roussanne grapes come from their Coyote Bowl and Bella vineyards in the south Okanagan. The soils in these vineyards consist of sand and gravel. How do these soil types affect wine’s aromas and flavours? Sand gives fruitiness, elegance, less colour, lighter acidity and soft tannins while gravel gives minerality, structure and power. While I did not pick up on minerality in these wines I would say that the Viognier and Roussanne wines show fruitiness and lighter acidity. Both are also soft and smooth. Let me get into the details of these two wines.
My Tasting Notes
Church & State Wines Roussanne 2017 (BC $34.49) – A medium minus intensity bright lemon colour in the glass. It has a medium minus intensity nose, with a mix of lanolin, dried lemons and pineapples, roasted pears and a touch of oak aromas. There was no change on the nose with decanting. This wine is dry, very soft and smooth with a fuller body. Medium acidity. You get rich ripe tropical fruits, dried stone fruits and fresh apricot flavours. With decanting you can add butterscotch flavour to this wine. It has a medium length finishing off smooth, with a light finish that fades away nicely. Apricots, dried stone fruits and a touch of oak, pepperiness and honey at the very end. A very enjoyable wine!
Rating: A wine with rich aromas and flavours; dried lemons and pineapple on the nose with tropical fruits and dried stone fruits on the palate. Very smooth and round.
Church & State Wines Viognier 2017 (BC $27.59) – Wow, this white wine comes in at 14.1% alc. 2017 was not a super hot vintage, but these grapes must have had a nice long hang time over the Fall to bring up the sugar content. This wine has a medium intensity bright lemon colour. The aromas changed quickly once I opened the wine and began to nose it. It started off with zippy citrus then adding some peach and tropical fruit. It then quickly progressed to more stone fruit and less citrus and tropical fruit. Then the intensity of the nose lightened and added honey. With decanting the nose again started with citrus and lime then added tropical fruit. This wine is off dry with medium plus body and flavour intensity. It is smooth but not thick in your mouth but it does slowly get thicker feeling with some time in the glass. Light acidity. Toast and pepper and tropical fruit to start, along with some citrus, which then changes to stone fruit flavours, in particular apricots. With decanting I picked up a distinct orange flavour and a touch of oak. It has a steely feel toward the finish. On the finish you get tart citrus, some bitter pith, pepperiness, and hotness (from the 14.1% alc). An adventure in the glass.
Rating: – A wine that changes very quickly in the glass. A transition from citrus to tropical fruit and then stone fruit on the nose. It is smooth and again transitions between tropical fruit to stone fruit quite quickly on the palate. Interesting.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
The following larger chains and some gov liquor stores carry Church & State Wines:
- Save on foods/Wines of BC (only those who have wine)
- Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstores (only those who have wine)
- Liquor for Less
- Liquor Depot/Liquor Barns
- Everything Wine
- Liquor Plus
There may be other private wine shops carrying these wines but you have to ask.