Two Interesting Red Wines from Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Marechal Foch grape cluster (GFDL,

Marechal Foch grape cluster (GFDL,

Here are two more vegan wines for you from Blue Grouse Estate Winery.  Their Quill Gamay Noir 2018 and their Quill Q Red 2018. The Quill Q Red is a blend of Merlot 75%, Cabernet Franc 11.5%, and Marechal Foch 13.5%.  The grapes for the Gamay Noir come from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island while the Q Red grapes come from Vancouver Island and Oliver in the South Okanagan. 
Why did I say these wines are interesting?  First the Q Red uses Marechal Foch, which is a hybrid grape, in the blend and second this Gamay Noir wine has such an interesting flavour profile. If you have not heard of Marechal Foch before, it is a hybrid French red wine grape variety.  The grape varieties crossed are not certain, but it is guessed as the Goldriesling (itself a cross) with a Vitis riparia – Vitis rupestris cross. This grape variety arrived in Canada in 1946. Aromas and flavours for this grape according to Wikipedia, “Wines made from Marechal Foch tend to have strong acidity, aromas of black fruits and, in some cases, toasted wheat, mocha, fresh coffee, bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, and musk.”

My Tasting Notes

Blue Grouse Quill Gamay Noir 2018 (BC $26.99) – This wine has a deep, about 80% opaque, ruby colour in the glass.  It has a light, but enticing nose.  Lifted bright aromas of crushed red berries, floral, gingerbread, vanilla, caramel and red plums.  No difference in aromatics with decanting. It is off-dry, light bodied, smooth, with lower acidity and very light tannins.  You get tart red berries, raspberries, red cherries and floral flavours on the palate.  There is also some minerality to this wine.  With decanting the raspberry flavour is more prominent plus you also get plums and red apple flavours.  The winemaker notes says that you also get black currant flavour, which is possible.  There is an interesting flavour profile, and I am not that familiar with the taste of black currants. Also with decanting the wine becomes slightly less tart.  The wine has a medium length finishing with tart red fruits, and almost no tannins.  A very interesting wine. It is enjoyable whether you decant it or not.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars Bright, vibrant red berries and floral nose and flavours.  Tart red fruits on the finish, with no major tannins.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Q Red 2018 (BC $23.99) – Medium intensity garnet colour that is about 50% translucent.  A medium intensity nose offering red fruit, sweet spices, plums, cherries and black fruit, along with hints of floral and vanilla.  Decanting simplifies the aromas, dropping the cherries, floral and vanilla.  It is off-dry, with lighter acidity and tannins.  Lighter bodied with a smooth mouthfeel.  Some roundness.  Raspberries, sweet spices, red fruit, and red cherries along with some minerality and fine light oak on the palate.  With decanting the wine has a bigger mouthfeel.  You get more black fruit and less red fruit and sweet spices, but the wine also has a more acidic edge and some bitterness/bandaid flavour.  It finishes with dry, woody tannins.  Black fruits, sweet cherries, cedar, sweet spices and some pepperiness at the very end.  I think drinking this wine as soon as you open it will give you the best aromatics and flavours.  No decant.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars A red blend that is very light overall on the palate. A light mouthfeel with red fruit, raspberries, red cherries, sweet spices and minerality on the palate.  The aromas and flavours are more enjoyable without decanting.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Quill Q Red and Quill Gamay Noir 2018 with wines in glasses

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Quill Q Red and Quill Gamay Noir 2018 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 Red. 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.