I have two possibly new white grape varieties to introduce you to today. I am tasting 2 wines from Enrico Winery located on southern Vancouver Island. One is their Coronet Reserve Petite Milo 2017 and the other is their Tempest Ortega 2019. Of the two grapes, you probably have heard of and tried Ortega as it is grown on Vancouver Island as well as in the Okanagan and Lake Country, but you probably have not tried Petite Milo.
Petite Milo is an early ripening, disease resistant, white wine grape that has a pink skin. It is a Blattner hybrid, that is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon, Riparia and Amurensis. It can achieve high sugar levels while retaining good levels of acidity. Sometimes you will see the grape variety written as Petite and sometimes Petit, but it is the same grape. You can get stone fruit and citrus flavours from this grape variety.
The Ortega grape is a cross between Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe. It was created in 1948 by Hans Breider in Germany and works very well in BC. This grape can have flavours of oranges and peaches. I’ve tried Ortega from Vancouver Island and from Lake Country and they have been very tasty. If you like Riesling or Viognier, you will like Ortega as well.
I really like the labels of Enrico’s wines. They look very regal. The winery logo is a griffin (a half lion, half eagle mythical beast), a family emblem, with the tail modified to a stylized “E” for Enrico. All their wines have British Royalty-related names of yore.
My Tasting Notes
Enrico Winery Coronet Reserve Petite Milo 2017 (BC $28.50) – This wine has a medium intensity bright lemon green colour. A medium minus intensity nose with more apple and pear aromas, with touches of lemon, apple blossom, peach, and with some swirling you also pick up honey. I really like the pretty nose of this wine. The blossom is nice. There is no major change to the nose with decanting, other than I picked up a hint of vanilla. This wine is dry and round, with a thicker waxy texture. Ripe pears, apple, lanolin and touches of floral and peach. There is smoothness from this wine I think coming from the oak ageing. The oak is very subtle but most evident toward the finish. I thought there may be some, but had to check the winery’s website to confirm. I also picked up some acidity as the wine opened up in my glass. With decanting the oak was a bit more evident and the wine became a bit more astringent, so my preference is to drink the wine as soon as it is opened. A medium plus length finishing dry, with flavours of apple seed, apples, and pears. Overall a very classy wine.
This wine uses a quality solid piece of cork to stopper the bottle. I always like to note good corks.
Rating: A unique wine that should please your palate. Apples and pears aromas and flavours. Lower acidity with a thicker waxy texture. Quite smooth and has a pretty apple blossom / floral touch.
Enrico Winery Tempest Ortega 2019 (BC $22.75) – A pale straw coloured wine, that is clear and bright in intensity. It has a more pronounced nose with juicy aromas covering lemon, pine needles, peaches and lime skin. These aromas persist with decanting. It is off-dry and round, with medium acidity that leaves a light acidic prickle on your tongue. Primarily citrus and green fruit flavours, with a lesser amount of peach. There is some minerality mixed in with the fruit flavours. With some time in the glass, you get tropical fruit flavours as well. With decanting the tropical fruit flavours come to the fore and pine needles become more evident. The other flavours persist as well. This wine has a medium plus length finishing with green fruit and peach flavours. Then some pepperiness at the very end as the fruit flavours fade. Again, add tropical fruits with decanting. Super tasty. This wine is delicious if you drink it as soon as you open it, or if you leave some to sip the next day.
Rating: Bright citrus, green fruit and peach aromas and flavours. Add tropical fruit flavours and pine needles with some decant or time in the glass. Nice acidic tension and minerality to add to the fruit flavours. Try with a fruit flan or sushi.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase these wines directly from the winery through their website. I’ve been told that these wines are readily available at most Liquor Retail Stores across Vancouver Island. Everything Wine in the Vancouver lower mainland carries the Ortega. Other private wine shops across BC may carry these wines, but you need to ask.