Today I tasted Pinot Gris two ways from Enrico Winery. The two wines I tasted are their Shining Armour Pinot Gris 2018 and their Celebration Charme de l’ile 2019. The latter wine is a sparkling wine, made with the Charmat (tank) method. Charme de l’ile (Island charm) is a term for this type of sparkling wine made by some wineries located on Vancouver Island only.
Sparkling wine can be made in theory with any grape, although Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay are the most common grapes. These grapes form the base for Champagne. But other grapes can be used for sparkling wine, such as Pinot Gris. Below you see Pinot Gris made in two different styles, one sparkling and one still, so you can see some versatility in this grape.
The label for their Charme de l’ile is a lion with a crown. I’m not sure the meaning behind the lion with the crown for this wine, but they do have lots of royalty references for all their wines. I could hypothesize that sparkling wine was reserved for special occasions by royalty in the past, thus the lion with the crown. But, fortunately we do not need to be fabulously wealthy any more. This wine comes in at $25.50.
My Tasting Notes
Enrico Winery Celebration Charme de l’ile 2019 (BC $25.50) – Has a lighter, bright lemon colour and medium-sized bubbles in the glass. It has a medium-minus intensity nose showing more crisp apple, with lesser amounts of pears and other ripe stone fruit. This wine is very slightly off-dry, with medium plus acidity and body, and pronounced fruit flavours. Very floral (apple blossoms) along with crisp apples and pears on the palate. Bright flavours and fresh acidity. Medium-sized creamy bubbles. It has a medium plus length finishing with apple and a touch of stone fruit. A celebratory wine!
Rating: Ripe, crisp apple and stone fruit aromas and flavours. Prominent apple blossom flavour as well. Medium sized bubble. A celebratory, easy to drink, sparkling wine.
Enrico Winery Shining Armour Pinot Gris 2018 (BC $22.75) – This wine has a bright clear medium lemon colour. A medium intensity nose with a mix of sweet citrus and stone fruit on the nose, about 50/50%, and a faint touch of oak. With decanting this wine really changes, with a nice toasty nose, followed by lesser amounts of stone fruits and citrus respectively. Nice! It is off-dry with medium-plus acidity/body/flavour intensity. A thick, round mouthfeel along with a medium acidic prickle. Pears, green apple, melon and a touch of lime skin and oak on the palate. Mid-palate to finish there is some grape stem as well. The wine became lighter and softer as well as the acidity lightened up with decanting, plus the toasty oak became more present. The wine has a medium-plus length finishing off-dry along with tart fruit flavours, then honey at the very end. Again, with decanting, you can add some toasty oak to the finish. In my opinion, this wine is much nicer with decanting. The oak and the fruit aromas and flavours work nicely together.
Rating: with decanting. A mix of citrus and stone fruits, along with toasty oak on the nose and palate. It is bigger, but still soft and round with medium acidity with decanting. A polished wine.
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. Other private wine shops across BC may carry these wines, but you need to ask.