Ortega and an Aromatic White Blend from Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Ortega grape (By Dr. Joachim Schmid, FG RZ, FA Geisenheim - Fachgebiet Rebenzüchtung und Rebenveredlung, Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim, GeisenheimRheingau. Upload von Martin Bahmann, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia)

Ortega grape (By Dr. Joachim Schmid, FG RZ, FA Geisenheim – Fachgebiet Rebenzüchtung und Rebenveredlung, Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim, GeisenheimRheingau. Upload von Martin Bahmann, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia)

Have you ever heard of the Ortega grape? Did you know that Ortega is a cross between Siegerrebe and Müller-Thurgau?  And did you know that you can try Ortega wine from Blue Grouse Estate Winery from Duncan, BC?  Vancouver Island is a very cool climate region and as such many of the wineries produce wines from aromatic white grapes such as Ortega.  Pinot Noir is also grown on Vancouver Island as it is another grape that prefers cooler climates. In Europe you will find these aromatic white grapes primarily in Alsace, France and in Germany, but other countries like Italy do grow these grapes, in particular Pinot Gris.  
 
I have two wines to tell you about from Blue Grouse Estate Winery, their Estate Ortega 2019 and their Quill Q White 2019.  Both of these wines are vegan friendly. The Q White is a blend of Schonburger, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Siegerrebe grapes. Schonburger is a cross between Pinot Noir x (Chasselas x Muscat Hamburg).  Siegerrebe  is a cross between Madeleine Angevine and Gewürztraminer.  These crossings were both made in Germany, and are reliably early ripening.  At the time of these crossings, global warming was not as evident, the climate was cooler in Germany and elsewhere, so having grapes that have good flavour and ripen early were sought.  These grapes have spread around the world, and as I’ve mentioned we grow them here in BC.
 
If you are wondering what dishes you can enjoy with these types of white wines, look no further than our range of fresh seafood in BC.  If seafood is not your thing, look to the dishes of Alsace and in Germany.  Alsatian dishes like Tarte Flambee (Alsatian Bacon and Onion Tart), Sauerkraut with Pork and Sausages, and Chicken in Vinegar Sauce.  Now that you know a few food pairings, let me tell you about these wines.

My Tasting Notes

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Estate Ortega 2019 (BC $23.99) – This wine has a pale bright straw colour.  A very pleasing nose with orange and citrus, white flowers, baby powder and beeswax.  With some air you start to get peach aroma as well.  After some decant time the nose aromatics were lighter, and were primarily citrus and orange.This wine is off-dry with a medium plus body with a round but not full mouth feel.  It has a light acidic prickle.  Very light citrus and green fruit flavours, along with a touch of orange and with some swirling you also get peach flavour.  There is some steeliness to this wine as well.  The wine feels rounder and a fuller mouthfeel with decanting. You still get peach, orange, and citrus flavours. It has a medium plus length finishing with citrus and citrus pith. The pith flavour diminishes with decanting.  Overall I prefer the freshly opened bottle as the aromatics are more exciting, but decanting does make the wine rounder.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars A delicious nose upon opening with oranges, citrus, white flowers and beeswax.  Medium plus body with light acidic prickle.  Overall light intensity citrus and green fruit flavours.
 
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Q White 2019 (BC $19.99) –  It has a pale bright straw colour in the glass.  A pronounced nose with mainly pine needles, but also citrus up front and oranges coming in later.  With decanting the range of aromas gets larger and more interesting.  I get pine needles, lychee, citrus and lime. This wine is dry, lighter bodied with medium minus acidity, giving this wine a silky smooth feel.  Light roundness.  Some minerality on the palate, but primarily pine needles followed by citrus and then peach flavours.  The mouthfeel gets bigger with decanting and you can add lychee flavour to the palate.  It has a medium plus length lingering finish with mouthwatering acidity, pine needles and peach flavours, then orange at the very end. With decanting you get some citrus pith and light pepperiness added to the finish.  I do enjoy this wine a bit better with decanting.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars with decanting.  This is a fresh vibrant wine.  Mainly pine needles on the nose and palate, but you can also add citrus, peach and lychee.  A light mouthfeel and very smooth.
 
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Estate Ortega and Q White 2019 with wines in glasses

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Estate Ortega and Q White 2019 with wines in glasses

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can order them from Blue Grouse, or visit their winery in Duncan, BC.  Swirl in Yaletown carries the Q White. Check with your local wine shop as they may carry these wines as well. 

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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