Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fair 2010 – Day 2

Today is dedicated to the wines of New Zealand at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. New Zealand is well known for their Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, and there were plenty of fine examples to be tasted. But what was suprising was the number of Pinot Gris that were available. I knew that Pinot Gris is available in New Zealand, but was suprised how many made it across the Pacific Ocean to reach our shores. As such, I purchased 3 in particular that I liked:
– St. Helena Pinot Gris 2008 ($21.99)
– Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2009 (19.99)

– Gibbston Dream Maker Pinot Gris 2008 ($29.99)

The St. Helena Pinot Gris 2008 was roses and peach on the nose. Round mouth feel, with medium acidity. Peachy flavour with slight spice and oak.

Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2009 had a light peach and apricot nose. Off dry, and quite flavourful. Lots of peach and a bit of spice on the finish.

The Gibbston Highgate Estate Dream Maker Pinot Gris 2008 has a light sweet citrus / honey / peach nose. Medium acid with some roundness on the palate. Vanilla and peach flavours.

All wonderful choices for summer.

As you know, I love Pinot Noir, and I was waiting to try some new ones from New Zealand.
Two in particular I really liked was the:
– Villa Maria Estate Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2007
– Woollaston Estates Tussock Nelson Pinot Noir 2007

The Villa Maria Estate Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir was medium garnet in the glass. A very pretty raspberry and plum nose. Raspberry, leafy, cherry flavours. Slightly spicy. Silky on the palate. Very nice!

The Woollaston Estates Tussock Nelson Pinot Noir was very aromatic with strawberries and raspberries aromas. Cherry and raspberry flavours. Medium body, medium acidity. Vanilla on the finish.

There was of course many sauvignon blancs to choose from:
– Elephant Hill Estate and Winery Sauvignon Blanc Rserve 2008
– Mount Riley Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2009

– Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

I’m running out of time, so no review on these last 3, but don’t worry after the Festival is over, i’ll be posting full tasting notes.

See you all tomorrow at the Saturday tasting! Enjoy!


An abbreviated list of wines for the holidays

Isn’t technology lovely? Sometimes you spend a long time writing a long blog about wines for the holidays and it doesn’t get saved! Well that just happened to me, so please enjoy this very short version of my wine recommendations.

Wines to take to a host/hostess. Try a wine they would not normally buy but would enjoy. Try a champagne (from France. Try Bollinger, Lanson, Krug, or Taittinger), or a sparkling wine (e.g. a cremant from France, a prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, or a New World sparkling, such as Gloria Ferrer from Napa Valley, or Lindauer from New Zealand).

An ice wine could also be a nice gift. Riesling ice wines are the best in my opinion as the high acidity of this grape complements the sweetness from the grape. Mission Hill and Quails Gate in the BC Okanagan have nice ice wines.

With dinner, assuming you have a turkey feast, try a lightly oaked chardonnay, or a lighter bodied pinot noir. On the chardonnay side try a wine from Deloach in California, Mission Hill Reserve from the Okanagan, or Evans and Tate from Australia. For a pinot noir, try Quails Gate or Mission Hill from the Okanagan, or Villa Maria or Kim Crawford from New Zealand.

People also like fortified / dessert wines. Buller makes a nice Muscat (Australia). You may try a port from Portugal, such as from Quinta do Portal. A full bodied Oloroso Sherry from Spain from Gonzalez Byass.

Enjoy the wines and enjoy the holidays!