Yesterday was the season kickoff for the South World Wine Society here in Vancouver, BC. It was held in conjunction with the new Legacy Liquor Store located at 1633 Manitoba Street. Wines from Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa were being poured. It was a walk-about event and had appetizers to nibble along with your southern hemisphere sips.
There were some interesting wines this evening. I had not heard of the Juno wines before from South Africa. South African wines tend to be a bit of Old and New World wine styles mixed together, and to go well with food, at least in my past experience. The Juno Sauvignon Blanc 2009 was medium lemon in colour. It had very distinctive aromas of asparagus and green peas. On the palate it had high acidity with asparagus flavour and also some wet slate (or dustiness as another person I spoke to described it). The Juno Shiraz 2009 was deep garnet in colour. Vanilla and plum on the nose. Medium plus in body with vanilla and plum flavours. Firm dry tannic finish with the flavour of pencil leads lingering on your tongue.
New Zealand also consistently puts out a flavourful Sauvignon Blanc. For this evening it was the Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from the Marlborough region. This wine was medium lemon in colour with a green tinge. Lots of gooseberry aroma on the nose. High acid on the palate but a bit of roundness so it wasn’t harsh. Gooseberry flavour with a hint of cinnamon. Herbal finish with a medium length. Maybe enjoy with some fresh oysters.
My favourite wine of the night was Vina Maipo Syrah from Chile. It is 85% Syrah with 15% Carmenere. Deep purple in colour. An interesting nose with vanilla, rubber and purple fruit. Dry tannins. Blueberries show up mid-palate, and cherries on the finish. A bit of pepper and vanilla. It has good tannic structure for the fruit to hang. I don’t have the price, but I believe it is < $20.
The other red I enjoyed was the Vina Maipo Carmenere. This is 90% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Also a deep purple colour in the glass. Vanilla, dark ripe plums and chocolate on the nose. Full body with ripe black fruit, vanilla and peppery flavours. Round mouth feel with medium length. I preferred the Syrah over the Carmenere as it had a bit more structure to the wine. The Carmenere is a softer wine, but also quite nice.
All these wines are available from the Legacy Liquor Store, which opens on Nov 24, 2010. Please drop by to visit the store, and also as important, please come out to the South World Wine Society’s next event, which is their 5 Nations Cup, a blind wine tasting, to be held in January 2011. Enjoy!