This year, a full year of COVID around us has kept wine tasting to a minimum. In previous years, I am grateful to be able to attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival where I find many top, five-star wines. I only attended two Trade tastings, two wine tasting events at Cornucopia, and a few winery tastings on my trip to the south Okanagan this summer. The remaining tastings are of wines that I have received via courier from a BC winery or from a wine agency. So my list of top five-star wines is quite short this year.
My 5 Star Rated Wines
Taylor Fladgate Very Old Tawny Port, Portugal – Kingsman Edition, Portugal
A clear, medium-minus intensity tawny colour, translucent to the core, lighter at the rim. Prominent tears on the sides of the glass upon swirling. A pronounced aged nose showing rich molasses and nuttiness, along with some butterscotch and a hint of citrus rind in the background. It has a medium-plus body, round and very smooth. Medium-plus sweetness; not thick or cloying due to the vibrant acidity with this port. Molasses and butterscotch, vanilla and black pepper, mixed sweet spices and a hint of citrus rind in the background. The winemaker’s notes note a fleeting note of cedar and balsam on the palate, which to me shows up as citrus rind. A long lingering finish, mellow flavours of molasses and vanilla and some black pepper. A fitting finish to this wine. You may want to read my full article about this Port.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Coruja NV, BC ($45) –
This dessert port-style wine was first made in 2008 (first bottling 2011) with each subsequent year added to the initial wine, so you are getting a fraction of each vintage. Reminds me of the solera method for Sherry. I don’t know any other winery in BC using this method for their port-style wine. I was told that their Coruja is similar to a Ruby-style port. In case you wanted to know what Coruja means, it is a Portuguese word for “owl”. A fitting name for the Burrowing Owl Estate winery.
This wine is opaque garnet in colour. Ripe dried fruits aromas along with dark berries, and touches of chocolate and vanilla. Thicker, soft and rich with medium sweetness. Red and black cherry flavours with a touch of chocolate and pepperiness toward the finish. Very fine tannins. Superb.
Roche Wines Tradition Chardonnay 2018, BC (only for wine club members)
A wine in perfect harmony with fruit, acidity, and oak. Ripe pineapple and butterscotch aromas and flavours that don’t overpower your nose or palate. Light acidity and flavours add complexity to this wine. Delicious.
So two wines from BC and one from Portugal this year. Give them a try if you can. I’m surprised that two are sweet fortified wines. Maybe it gives me, and us, more comfort during these trying COVID days and year.
Coming up next are my 4.5-5 star, near-perfect wines for 2021. There are many wines to enjoy in this category.