People ask me quite often, what’s my favourite wine, or what is my favourite wine from a specific region or country. Do you get that too? What do you say?
My response is that I have too many favourite wines, which is true. The thing about wine, is that every vintage is different. Some years are hot and dry, others are cool and wet, and everything in between. This makes every vintage unique. So one year I may like a cabernet sauvignon from one producer, but next year, I may prefer a cab from a different producer. That’s the beauty of wine. In this case, I do have a few wineries that I enjoy their wines each vintage.
Some countries have less variability in climate, so the wines are closer in style, body, flavour each year. Examples would be the Barossa Valley in Australia, or the Colchagua Valley in Chile. Some producers are Haan, Penfolds, and Thorn-Clarke in Australia, and Montgras, Casa Lapostolle, and Montes in Chile.
Most places do not have the luxury of a predictable climate with a long growing season. Most areas in France, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest have significant climate variability each year. So I could list just about every winery I know in this category. Some wineries do seem to produce better quality wines, due to their vineyard management and their fermentation process and aging. Those would be a good bet to try for each new vintage. Other wineries can have an exceptional year and those are the unique finds that are fun to hear about and try, because it would only be around for that vintage. Some wineries in BC that I really like are La Frenz, Quails’ Gate, Le Vieux Pin, La Stella, Osoyoos LaRose, Tantalus, Mission Hill, Tinhorn Creek, and many more.
So for the cooler climate wines, I’d say the best is to check with the www.MyWinePal.com website for my wine reviews, and check other well-known wine bloggers for their reviews, then go try out some wines. You may also want to consider attending wine tastings put on by wine societies in your city. Here in Vancouver we have the South World Wine Society, the BC Wine Appreciation Society, and many others. Enjoy!