Highlights from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest – Day 2

The second day from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is now finished.  A lot of wine again today to taste.  But still probably more than half the wines haven’t yet been tasted.  I did visit many nice wineries and tasted some interesting wines from around the world today.  As I had mentioned in my previous blog article, today I would taste wines from the rest of the world, and then at the end try some Spanish wines I had missed.

Again to keep things brief, here is my 2nd list of recommended wines to try at the #VPIWF.  After the festival is over, I’ll post full tasting notes for these wines and others that I have tried on www.MyWinePal.com. The wines below range from white, red, sparkling, and fortified.

Recommended wines:

  • Babich East Coast Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec 2008 (Argentina)
  • Decero Malbec, Remolinos Vineyard 2009 (Argentina)
  • Decero Cabernet Sauvignon, Remolinos Vineyard 2008 (Argentina)
  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina)
  • Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina)
  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile)
  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005 (Chile)
  • Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage Red Les Hauts du Fief 2007 (France)
  • Cave de Tain Saint Joseph Red Esprit de Granit 2007 (France)
  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France)
  • Pierre Sparr Mambourg Pinot Gris 2008 (France)
  • Schloss Reinhartshausen Prinz VVN Preussen Rielsing Off-Dry 2009 (Germany)
  • Ca’ Del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvee Prestige (Italy)
  • Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Man O’War Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (New Zealand)
  • Fonseca Guimaraens 10 Year Tawny Port (Portugal)
  • Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Vanzeller 10-Year-Old Tawny Port (Portugal)
  • Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Dao Reserva 2005 (Portugal)
  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal)
  • Champagne Lallier Rose (France)
  • Joseph Drouhin Chablis Premier Cru 2009 (France)
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (Canada)
  • Juan Gil Monastrell 2010 (Spain)
  • Bodegas Abanico Mencia 2007 (Spain)
  • Bodgeas Abanico Tinta de Toro Eternum Viti 2008 (Spain)
  • Bodegas Abanico Tinta de Toro Los Colmillos 2008 (Spain)
  • Gonzalez Byass Croft, Pale Cream Sherry (Spain)
  • Zuccardi Series A Torrontes 2010 (Argentina)
  • Bodegas San Valero Monte Ducay Cava Brut (Spain)

That is a lot of recommendations, and a lot of wines to try in one day.  There were many more that are also good, but did not make the list.  I wish I had another day or two so that I could try the rest of the wines from the Festival.

Today’s agenda for me is New Zealand Perfect Parings, Good Gracious Grenache seminar, and Cinq a Sept French wines.  Check back tomorrow for a short article on these.  Enjoy the remainder of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, and remember to check out the Vancouver Playhouse and what they have to offer!  Support the arts.

Preview of Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last blogged. I’ve been busy the last 2 weeks volunteering at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, but now that this is over, I can dedicate myself to tasting wine, and giving you some insights on great wines and great wine events.

This evening I was privileged to try a range of wines from New Zealand and Argentina. These are the theme countries for the upcoming Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, which will be held in late April this year. BTW, if you don’t have tickets yet for any tastings, you better hurry up as many events sell out fast. The web link to the Playhouse International Wine Festival is:
http://playhousewinefest.com/

I tried over 40 wines and found some really nice ones for you. I will have tasting notes for all the wines on www.MyWinePal.com over the next few days, but in the meantime, enjoy these few wines. I do not know if these wines are currently available in BC, but they will for sure be available in the BC Liquor store at the Playhouse International Wine Festival.

New Zealand is well known for their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, but pay attention to their Viognier, Pinot Gris, and Merlot. The Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Marlborough, NZ) is a very elegant wine. Oak, lemon and herbal on the nose. Big legs from a higher alcohol content, but the wine is balanced by the fruit so not hot on the palate. It does have nice herbal and lemon flavours with good acidity, not too strong. If you prefer a higher acid Sauvignon Blanc, you may want to try the Giesen “The Brothers” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008. This wine has a tomato leaf aroma, higher acid, with herbal flavour. A traditional NZ Sauv Blanc.

There was 16 different NZ Pinot Noirs to taste at this event from all regions. There were several “wild” Central Otago pinots. One I enjoyed was the Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008. Light to medium cherry colour in the glass. A range of smoky, cherry, and leafy aromas. Wild flavours on your palate with cherry, oak and strawberry flavours. Another pinot I liked was the Two Paddocks Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007. This one was medium garnet in colour. Smoky, raspberry and cherry on those nose. Ripe fruit and raspberry flavours. Medium acidity and body, with a smoky finish. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops!

Crossing the Pacific Ocean we reach South America, and Argentina. Argentina is well-known for their Torrontes and Malbec wines, and today did not disappoint. The Bodega Tapiz Torrontes 2009 is a nice understated wine. Some Torrontes can be too fruit forward. This one has the fruit aromatics but doesn’t overpower you, and would be a nice accompaniment with food. This wine had a light lychee and rose nose. On the palate there was nutmeg, rose and lychee flavours. A premium wine producer in Argentina is Bodega Catena Zapata. I was able to enjoy their Alta Malbec 2006. This wine is opaque purple in the glass. Vanilla, black currant and red cherry aromas make an interesting nose. On the palate there is vanilla, cherry, black currant and ripe fruit flavours. The tannins were medium yet smooth. You can’t go wrong with this wine. A blend that caught my eye and tastebuds was the MASI Tupungato Corbec 2007. This is a mix of 70% Corvina and 30% Malbec. It is made with partially dried grapes, with the drying process concentrating the flavours of the grapes. This wine has a light cherry nose, but very full body and lots of ripe dark fruit and cherries and high tannins. You would need a nice grilled roast or hearty stew to tame the tannins right now, but it is overall a very enjoyable wine.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy these wines and the upcoming Playhouse International Wine Festival.