Seaside Pearl Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2018 – How Tasting Notes Change With Time

Tertiary Aromas in wines (graphic courtesy blog.vinfolio.com)

Tertiary Aromas in wines (graphic courtesy blog.vinfolio.com)

A wine’s aromas and flavours will change over time from the initial tasting by the winemaker at bottling till the time you open it.  If it is within a year, any change will likely not be noticeable.  Around three years onward you should notice changes.  The acidity of a white wine could soften and the tannins in a red wine lessen.  Aromas and flavours could evolve from fresh fruits to dried fruits and you may get tobacco, earth, marmalade, nuttiness, or petrol, depending on the grape variety.  That is why I avoid reading a winemaker’s tasting notes until after I taste a wine and make my own notes.  The aged aromas and flavours are termed “Tertiary”, while the fruit flavours and aromas from a new wine are “Primary”.

I recently opened a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay from Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery’s 2018 vintage, wines with not quite 3 years of age.  Here are their tasting notes.

Winery notes about the Seaside Pearl Fraser Gold Unoaked Chardonnay 2018:

A delightful example of a fruit-driven Chardonnay from a classic wine vintage. Unoaked and lightly golden in colour, richly textured and concentrated with balanced acidity that drives a lingering finish. A wine to be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.

Winery notes about the Seaside Pearl Florence Pinot Noir 2018:

With origins in Burgundy, France, Pinot Noir represents something of the feminine side of red wines. Our Pinot Noir is elegant and subtle, with aromas of strawberries and cherry with a hint of chocolate.

Quite often other wine sales websites also carry the winemaker’s notes.  But I think that once a wine does get at least three years of age, it is a very good idea to check other wine review websites, like mywinepal.com, to see if they have more recent tasting notes.  In the case of these two wines, I noted significant differences in the aromas and flavours compared to what is described in the winemaker’s tasting notes. 

But before I get into my tasting notes I would like to mention the labels for these two wines as they point out some historical fact about British Columbia.

Seaside Pearl’s Wine Labels and BC’s History

Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Florence Pinot Noir and Fraser Gold Chardonnay labels

Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Florence Pinot Noir and Fraser Gold Chardonnay labels

“Fraser Gold” represents the Fraser River Gold Rush in 1857.  It brought thousands of prospectors from around the world, making it one of the largest migrations of miners in North American history.  There is probably still flakes of gold that you can find if you decide to give your hand at panning for gold.

“Florence” was a lady who lived in the Mount Lehman area most of her life.  She kept bees and had an apiary on her farm where she lived with an old black Labrador dog and a cow that were her best friends.

I do enjoy viewing these wine labels that cover BC history and learn about things I may not know about.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Fraser Gold Unoaked Chardonnay 2018 (BC $27)

Appearance: A bright, medium intensity, straw colour with a lemon tint.
Nose: Medium-minus intensity nose with aromas of ripe pears and pineapples, and a hint of citrus. The heavier riper aromas changed to more stone fruits, peaches and pears in particular, with lesser pineapple, and some grape stem with decanting.
Palate: Dry with a thicker heavier mouthfeel. Round on the palate. You get mostly pears and pineapple flavours, with a lesser amount of citrus and some grape stem tannins. There is also a touch of pepperiness. There is lighter acidity, but enough to keep the wine feeling fresh. There is some texture to this wine, which may come from lees ageing. With decanting the wine had a lighter body and flavour intensity while the acidity level increased a bit.  There was also some identifiable minerality in the wine.  Mainly citrus and pears flavours, and no pineapple. A significant change in flavours.
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing light on the palate. Pineapple, pepperiness and some grape stem tannins. Again with decanting the wine finished more with peach, pears, and citrus flavours.

The wine’s aromas and flavours have changed since the winemaker’s notes going from a lighter colour and balanced acidity to a richer, heavier mouthfeel and ripe flavours of pears and pineapples upon opening. Decanting also showed changes in this wine to more stone fruits.  Interesting.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Lighter aromas of ripe pears and pineapple upon opening.  A round, thicker mouthfeel.  More pears and pineapple and less citrus, plus a touch of pepperiness and grape stem tannins.

Seaside Pearl Fraser Gold Unoaked Chardonnay and Florence Pinot Noir 2018 with wines in glasses

Seaside Pearl Fraser Gold Unoaked Chardonnay and Florence Pinot Noir 2018 with wines in glasses

Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Florence Pinot Noir 2018 (BC $28)

Appearance: 60% translucent to the core, uniformly coloured pale garnet colour.
Nose: A medium intensity nose with red fruit, leather, sweet spices, and a touch of red cherries and barnyard. I did like the aromas in this wine with decanting.  You get red fruit, clove, red cherries and a touch of floral.  The leather and barnyard were gone.
Palate: Dry, light-bodied, along with lighter acidity, tannins and alcohol levels. A thinner mouthfeel with slight roundness. Light flavours of red cherries, raspberries, floral, touches of oak and chocolate, and a metallic and bitter note (likely Brett). You get some capsicum with swirling. With decanting the wine moved up to medium body and acidity and had a rounder mouthfeel. Red fruits, raspberries and touches of floral and chocolate flavours.  The Brett flavours had disappeared.
Finish: A medium length finishing with leather, red fruits and red cherries, sweet spices, some bitterness and metallic (again likely Brett). Same fruit flavours with decanting, and an absence of the brettiness.

There is no mention of Brettanomyces in the winemaker’s tasting notes, so either this bottle is an exception, or that Brett is slowly developing in the bottles with age. The wine is under screwcap which minimizes Brett, but it can happen anywhere in the winemaking and bottling process. With decanting the Brett disappeared, which was surprising but welcomed.

This wine has changed since the winemaker’s notes were published, going from aromas of strawberries and cherry with a hint of chocolate to red fruit, leather, sweet spices, red cherries and barnyard on the nose, and on the palate, among other flavours upon opening.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars with decanting.  A pretty nose with red fruit, red cherries, sweet spices and a touch of floral. Medium body and acidity and a rounder mouthfeel. Red fruits, raspberries and touches of floral and chocolate flavours. 

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can purchase their wines online via their website. These wines may be at your local wine shop but you need to ask.

Thank you to Seaside Pearl for providing me with these wines to review.

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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