Dish N Dazzle featuring Wines of Argentina – Get Your TIckets

Dish N Dazzle

When and Where?

Dish N Dazzle
Thursday, May 7, 2015
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre EAST in the Parkview Terrace

What is Dish N Dazzle?

This is a fundraising event for the BC Hospitality Foundation and will feature

  • More than 100 wines from Argentina
  • 14 of Vancouver’s best restaurants
  • A cocktail competition with 6 expert bartenders
  • A live Jazz Band – Les is More
  • A Latin DJ
  • A HUGE silent auction focused on hospitality, hotels & restaurants

The Wineries

Below is the list of wineries from Argentina participating in this event.  There are some great ones, like Catena, Colome, Graffigna and more.  Very exciting wines to try from these wineries.

  • Alamos Winery, Amalaya, Bousquet, Casa Bianchi, Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete
  • Colome, Dona Paula, El Esteco, El Porvenir de Cafayate, Escorihuela 1884, Finca Decero
  • Finca Flichman,    Finca las Moras, Graffigna, Huarpe Wines, Kaiken, La Vuelta
  • Lagarde, Layer Cake, Marcelo Pelleriti Wines, Mascota Vineyards, Masi Tupungato, Pasucal Toso
  • Que Guapo, Santa Ana, Septima, Tamari, Tapiz, Tinto Negro, Vina Cobos, Vistalba, Zorzal Wines

What About the Restaurants?

Here are the participating Vancouver restaurants.

  • Aura at Nita Lake Lodge, Bistro 101 at PICA, Black + Blue, The Bon Vivant Group
  • Café Pacifica at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Chef Ann Kirsebom, CinCin
  • Donnelly Group, Forage at the Listel Hotel, Homer St. Cafe and Bar
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, La Grotta Del Formaggio, PIER 7 restaurant + bar

Do You Want a Discount on Your Ticket?

Tickets are $75 but because you are reading my article, use promo code WOA15 for $69 tickets.

More information on Dish N Dazzle is on their website.

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Argentina Wine Awards 2014: Who Were the Winners?

The Trophy award winners

The Trophy award winners

Mendoza, February 25, 2014 – On Friday, February 21 at Bodega Escorihuela Gascón the winners of the Argentina Wine Awards 2014 were announced to a large crowd of over 250 wine owners, winemakers, provincial government authorities, wine industry executives, members of the judging panel and journalists.  The competition is organized by Wines of Argentina under the coordination of the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR).

  • 12 international and 6 Argentine judges tasted more than 650 samples.
  • Trophies were announced for the 20 categories, which in turn were divided into 5 price ranges each.
  • 150 wineries, with a total of 650 samples, participated in the 8th edition of the Argentina Wine Awards, a competition that seeks to reward both the quality and the advancement of the Argentine wine industry.
  • 4 Regional Trophies, 12 Trophies, 58 gold medals, 256 silver medals and 276 bronze medals were awarded at the competition.

In the Malbec category, the Trophies went to:

TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99

Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012Es Vino Wines
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99

Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011La Casa del Rey SA- Alta Vista
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012Riccitelli Wines
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >50.00

Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012Riccitelli Wines

In the sparkling wines category, the Trophy winners were:

Category: sparkling mt       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007

Familia Zuccardi

In the case of Cabernet Franc, the Trophies went to:

Category: cabernet franc       >20.00 <29.99 Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SA

Category: cabernet franc       >50.00

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

On the last day of the AWA, an interesting 2-part seminar was held. During the first part of the seminar, 6 international judges presented to the audience “heavyweight”wines which are successful in other markets not only because of their sales volume but also because of their wineries’ sustainability over time.

During the 2nd part, the same 6 international judges spoke about their markets and gave their feedback on the regional Argentine market focusing on the tasted wines.  This seminar, held every year in the framework of the AWA, fosters the exchange of views in the world of wine.

“The AWA 2014 winners, a sampling of the best of Argentine wine, will be representing Wines of Argentina throughout the year around the world.  This 8th edition has been particularly important due to the presence of highly regarded judges, the quality of the participating wines and the feedback given during the seminar,” said Alberto Arizu, President of Wines of Argentina.

List of Trophy winners – AWA 2014:    

TROPHIES AWA 2014

SPARKLING – méthode traditionelle

TROPHY

Category: sparkling mt

       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007Familia Zuccardi

TORRONTÉS

TROPHY

Category: torrontés

       >13.00 <19.99

Colomé Torrontés 2013

Bodega Colomé

CABERNET FRANC

TROPHY

Category: cabernet franc

       >20.00 <29.99

Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SATROPHY

Category: cabernet franc

       >50.00

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
TROPHY Category: cabernet sauvignon

       >30.00 <49.99

Bramare Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Viña Cobos SA

MALBEC

TROPHY Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012

Es Vino WinesTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011

La Casa del Rey SA- Alta VistaTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012

Riccitelli Wines

TROPHYCategory: malbec

       >50.00

Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012

Riccitelli Wines

RED BLENDS
TROPHY Category: red blend

       >13.00 <19.99Paz Blend 2012

Finca Las Moras

TROPHYCategory: red blend

       >30.00 <49.99Field Blend 2011

Zorzal Wines

TROPHYCategory: red blend

       >50.00

Decero Amano, Remolinos Vineyard 2011

Finca Decero

For the 1st time, there was presentation of a special Trophy for each of Argentina’s main regions – the North, San Juan, Mendoza and Patagonia – with the aim of bestowing an even stronger federal quality on the event and bringing in wineries from all over the country.

The winners of this new category were:

North Valleys – Serie Fincas Notables Malbec 2011, Bodega El Esteco 

San Juan Valleys – Paz Blend 2012, Finca Las Moras

Mendoza Valleys – Lindaflor Malbec 2009, Monteviejo

Patagonian Valleys – Fin Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010, Bodega del Fin Del Mundo

 # # #

About the Argentina Wine Awards

The 8th edition of the AWA took place in Mendoza from February 16 to 21, 2014. This year, the emphasis was placed on working with experienced, world-renowned wine figures from each market, in order to strengthen Argentina’s positioning in such markets as well as to promote the quality of Argentine wines and the variety of the country’s styles and terroirs through these knowledgeable experts. In this way, Wines of Argentina continues to work for the development of the image of Argentine wine on the global stage.

 About Wines of Argentina

Wines of Argentina is the organization responsible for promoting the brand VINO ARGENTINO around the world. Since 1993, WofA has promoted the image of local wines abroad, in addition to guiding the export strategy of Argentine wineries through careful study and analysis of the changes taking place in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers.

 About the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR): 

The Argentine Wine Corporation manages and articulates the activities required in order to achieve the goals stated in the 2020 Strategic Wine Plan, taking up the challenge of transforming the wine sector and strategically boosting its strengths and opportunities in the global market of wine, concentrated grape juice, raisins, and table grapes. The Strategic Plan has been designed to add value to the industry by the organization and integration of all the stakeholders along the chain, with a view to producing higher quality wines, and achieving greater consistency across all segments and products. www.coviar.com.ar Facebook: Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR)  Twitter: @Coviar1

Dish and Dazzle – Fine Wine and Fabulous Food

BC Hospitality Foundation logo

Dish n’ Dazzle 2012 will be presented by Wines of Argentina on May 16th at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. This year’s $75 price represents outstanding value. Guests will be a be able to taste selections from over 80 wines. Enjoy food from 12 Vancouver restaurants. Food parings this year include Argentinian chorizo with Chapa bread, Charred Chimi Chrurri Hanger Steak, Empandas, Prawn tacos and more. The cocktail “shakedown” competition will offer attendees an opportunity to watch 6 top bartenders in action creating Argentinian inspired cocktails and the chance to taste each one!

A raffle featuring a grand prize from Fairmont Hotels and Resorts will be accompanied by a fabulous silent auction.  You can buy your tickets here.

Participating Restaurants

  • Heron’s West Coast Restaurant and Bar
  • Hy’s Encore
  • House of Empanadas
  • Kits daily Kitchen
  • Market by Jean-Georges
  • Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Pan Pacific Hotel
  • Pier 7
  • Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
  • Rockford Wok|Bar|Grill
  • Sutton Place: Fleuri 
  • Sanafir of the THE GLOWBAL COLLECTION
  • The Granville Room
  • H.A.V.E. Culinary school
  • Chef Anne Kirsebom

Participating Argentinean Wineries

I have written about many of these wineries in the past.  Lots of top quality wine to enjoy.  Please review my past posts by entering Argentina, Malbec, or Mendoza in the Search box.

  • Amalaya
  • Bodega Catena
  • Bodega Norton
  • Bodegas Escorihuela 1884
  • Casa Montes
  • Clos de los Siete
  • Dereco
  • Familia Schroeder
  • Familia Zuccardi
  • Finca Flichman
  • Flechas de los Andes- Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmund de Rothschild
  • Las Perdices (My favorite wine from the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival this year was their Bonarda)
  • Michel Torino
  • Pascual Toso
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Julia
  • Tapiz
  • Trivento
  • Valentin Bianchi
  • Vistalba

More Food You Will Sample

  • Coffee crusted NY striploin with chimichurri infused vegetable Carbonada and crispy chichiron
  • Red churros croustillant Lollipops filled with Dulce de leche cream
  • Assorted traditional Empanadas with chimi churri sauce
  • Beef ensaladas with chili-passionfruit dressing
  • Cranberry & onion confit with chevre, blue cheese cracker
  • Seared Albacore tuna, spicy ramp kimchi, pickled vegetables
  • Charred Chimi Churri Hanger Steak , Jalapeno Piperade, Grilled Mini Faj
  • Hy’s classic steak tartare ita
  • House-made Argentinean Chorizo with Chapa Bread
  • Prawn Tacos with chocolate bacon
  • Albacore tuna soft shell
  • BC clam chowder with chorizo and carbonarra sabayon
  • Dungeness Crab & Albacore Tuna in a Sesame Cone with Sorrel Pesto

Dish ‘n Dazzle supports the BC Hospitality Foundation, bchospitalityfoundation.com

Discover the Wines of Argentina Tasting – My Picks

Did you know that Argentina’s history of wine making dates back to the 16th century, and with this 300 years of wine making experience are still viewed as New World wine making? Most of the wine was for internal consumption, but in the last 20 years Argentina’s wine exports have continued to grow. Today many people talk about Malbec wine from Argentina as being a favourite red. Argentina’s signature red grape, Malbec surely has made it’s name around the world. Originally a Bordeaux blending grape, this grape has found the perfect place in the world to express itself in Mendoza, Argentina. Hot days from the high elevation and cool nights from the Andes Mountains helping the grapes reach full fruit maturity without losing it’s acidity.

On September 29, 2011, The Wines of Argentina hosted a tasting of some of their wines here in Vancouver at the Sutton Place Hotel.  I tasted as many red, white, and sparkling wines as I could for you, and here are my top picks.

Malbecs

Santa Ana Homage Malbec 2010

Let’s start with the Malbecs as most people attending did so just because of the range of Malbecs that they can try.

  • Bodega Luigi Bosca / Familia Arizu Reserva Malbec 2008. Medium ruby in colour with coffee and cherries on the nose.  More coffee and cherries on the palate along with vanilla and some smokiness. Medium acidity and soft tannins.
  • Bodega Septima Dia Malbec 2009. Medium ruby.  Ripe cherries and vanilla aromas.  Medium body with soft mouthfeel. Ripe cherries and apple flavours with a very dry finish.
  • Bodegas Santa Ana Homage Malbec 2010. This is my overall favourite red wine of the night!  Light ruby in the glass.  Interesting nose with citrus, cloves, cherry and vanilla. Very fruity with cherry and cloves on the palate.  Round full bodied with long length.
  • Finca La Chamiza Polo Amateur Malbec 2011. This is still quite a young winery, being founded in 2003, but producing some very nice wines already. This wine was pale ruby  in colour with a smoky raspberry nose. Light body with more smoke and raspberry flavour.  An easy to drink Malbec on it’s own.
  • Finca La Chamiza Legend of Polo Malbec 2009. This is their top Malbec and it shows.  This wine has a medium ruby colour, darker than the Polo Amateur.  Smoky dark fruit nose.  Very full flavoured with vanilla, cherries and smoke.  Medium tannins that help support the fruit and give the wine nice structure.
  • Finca Las Moras Intis Malbec 2010. This wine was the surprise wine of the evening.  It is priced at $8.99, and over delivers. Pale ruby colour.  Light aromas of grilled sausage and dark fruit. Medium plus body with medium acidity.  Vanilla, cherry, raspberry and sausage flavours all together. Lots of nice flavours.  Dry with soft tannins.
  • Finca Las Moras Reserva Malbec 2007. Medium ruby in the glass with a nice smoky nose. Very fruity and full bodied.  Some smokiness also on the palate.  Soft mouthfeel.

Torrontes

Torrontes is the other signature grape of Argentina.  This one is a white grape, and quite aromatic.  If you like Viognier or Gewurztraminer, you should like, and try, Torrontes.

  • Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes Viognier Chardonnay blend 2010

    Bodega Vistalba Tomero Torrontes 2010. This was my favourite Torrontes of the evening. Medium lemon in colour . Nice herbal, lemon and floweriness on the nose. Lots of flavour of citrus and pine needles.  Medium body with medium length. Top quality.

  • Makia Torrontes 2011. The Makia winery combines Italian know-how and wine making style with the terroir of the Uco Valley in Argentina. The Torrontes was different from other Torrontes I have tasted.  It was pale lemon in the glass with an orangy nose.  Round and very fruity. Tropical fruit.  Light acidity.
  • Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos Amado Sur Torrontes/Viognier/Chardonnay 2010. This wine is a blend with 75% of the wine being made from the Torrontes grape and 15% with another aromatic grape, Viognier, and the remaining 10% with Chardonnay. This was an exciting and refreshing wine for me.  Light flower and tropical fruit nose.  High acidity and medium minus body.  Citrus and slight herbal flavours. In another article I covered the Amado Sur Malbec/Bonarda/Syrah, which I also quite liked. Read it here.
  • Vina Las Perdices Torrontes 2011. Pale lemon in colour.  Very flowery nose.  Light body with a round mouth feel.  Flowers, citrus, spice upfront, with herbal mid palate.  This is an easy sipper.

Anything But Torrontes (or Malbec)

  • Urraca Chardonnay 2009 on ice

    Vinedos Urraca Chardonnay 2009. This is a very elegant wine that reminds you of a French Mersault. This wine is barrel aged but the oak does not overpower the wine.  Medium lemon in colour.  Nice tropical fruit and vanilla on the nose.  Medium plus body with citrus, spice and vanilla flavours.  Well balanced with a long finish.

  • Bodega Vistalba Tomero Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Light ruby in colour.  Dark chocolate, leather and earthiness on the nose. Vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee and cherry flavours.  Dry with a light body and medium length.  Not all Cabs have to be heavy, extracted wines.  This one is lighter bodied and is a pleasure to drink.
  • Finca Las Moras Reserva Tannat 2008. Tannat is grape that you more associate with France or Uruguay.  But Finca Las Moras has produced a very nice Tannat. Deep garnet in the glass.  Light nose with aromas of dark fruit and vanilla.  Full body with lots of vanilla and kirsch cherry flavours.  Dry with medium tannins and medium length.
  • Mapema Sauvignon Blanc 2010. I was told that the wine maker for Mapema is Sr. Pepe Galante, who was previously a wine maker at Catena. This wine was watery lemon in colour. Herbal nose.  Light body with medium acidity, but still had a round mouth feel.  Light herbal, tropical fruit and lime flavours.  Nice.
  • Pascual Toso Brut NV. This is a non-vintage sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Light lemon in the glass. Light oak, citrus and honey aromas.  High acidity, small bubble, lots of citrus and a bit of oak on the palate.

Sometimes tasting  a flight of wines at one time helps you gain appreciation for a varietal or a blended wine, as well as a style. If you are interested in having a wine tasting party at your home, please consider contacting MyWinePal.  Enjoy!

Time to Discover the Wines of Argentina

With the fall and winter coming up, our thoughts start moving toward heartier foods and full-bodied red wines.  Coming up on September29 you will get a chance to try some big Malbecs, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and more at the Discover Wines of Argentina tasting here in Vancouver.  If white wines are more your style, you will probably be delighted by Argentina’s signature white grape, Torrontes, or other great white wines, like Chardonnay produced from high-altitude Mendoza or Salta.  Below is the full tasting announcement. Get your tickets before they sell out!

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Taste Wines of Argentina

On Thursday, September 29 2011, Wines of Argentina will host a tasting to showcase the quality and variety of wines the country produces. Held at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel, the event will feature bottles from over 24 wineries.

The world’s fifth largest wine producer, Argentina has developed a reputation for creating approachable and food-friendly wines.  The evening will be an enjoyable way to learn about what the country offers consumers who are looking for value but don’t want to sacrifice taste.

Wines of Argentina Consumer Tasting

Thursday, September 29, 2011
7:00 – 9:30pm

Sutton Place Hotel
845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tickets $44 per person available at www.winesofargentina.ca

Special Group Discount

A special offer for groups of 10 or more people.  Tickets are $40/person. That is a $4 discount per ticket.  If you would like to take advantage of this special group pricing, please email danalee.harris@shaw.ca 

The event will benefit the BC Hospitality Foundation’s Tip Out To Help campaign.

#     #     #

About The BC Hospitality Foundation’s Tip Out To Help Campaign: 

October is Tip Out To Help Month:  B.C. Hospitality Foundation is starting a fundraising program this October.  Called Tip Out To Help, the program encourages members of the hospitality industry to raise funds however they please and donate them to BCHF to help their colleagues in need.  Some examples of easy fundraising ideas are staff donating a toonie per shift, management donating a percentage of sales, and/or team fundraisers.  Every toonie helps. We hope you’ll join the movement and register a team at www.tipouttohelp.com

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.

Celebrate Argentina Wines 2009

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} catch(err) {}Having both the Wines of Chile and the Wines of Argentina in the same week have been taxing, but very fulfilling. I tried many new wines from many new wineries this week, and I look forward to seeing these new wines in our government and private wine shops. On this post I focus on the Argentina event.

Argentina has been making wines over the last 300 years, with most of the consumption within the country. Over the past 20 years exports of Argentinean wine has grown. Canada is now starting to get many more Argentinean wines.

For this tasting, there was of course many bottles of Malbec to taste, but also now a wide range of other varietals such as Semillon, Pinot Noir, Torrontes (the signature white grape of Argentina) and Petit Verdot! I was particularly suprised to see the Pinot Noir as it is such a finicky grape and loves cool climate, while the major wine region of Argentina, Mendoza, is quite hot and Malbec thrives there. I also enjoyed watching the Argentinean tango being danced at the event.

So what were some of the highlight wines that I came across at this evening’s event?

Urraca Chardonnay 2008. This wine had a nice oaky, earthy nose. Round in the mouth with nice lemon flavour and a long finish. Not overly oaked. This winery needs an agent so we can see their wines.
Juana del Sol Chardonnay 2009. This wine has understated elegance. Pale lemon in colour with a light oak nose. Round. Vanilla and stone fruit flavours. They also need an agent.
Sur de los Andes Torrontes 2008. Medium lemon coloured. Light pine needle aroma. FULL flavour. Pine needles and apples with a grapefruit finish. Maybe try instead of a Sauvignon Blanc sometime.
Filus Reserva Malbec 2007. Deep purple in the glass. Ripe sweet red fruit with cherry liquor flavours. Vanilla, red fruit and plum on the nose. Tannic finish, but not unpleasant. This winery needs an agent.
Aconcagua Malbec 2008. Deep purple coloured. Very aromatic. Smoky, herbal, cherry aromas. Smoky, earthy and dark fruit flavours with a cherry finish. Nice round mouth feel. One of my favorites, and should be around $15 when it comes to BC.
Sottano Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. Medium garnet in the glass. Classic cassis nose. Cassis and cherry on the palate. Lots of fruit flavour and low tannins.

There is a peek at a few of the wines of the evening. There were many more, and I’ll be posting them on www.mywinepal.com in the Wine Reviews section. Keep your eyes open for these wines coming soon to BC. Salud!