BC Cabernet Sauvignon for Summer Sips

Well I’ve talked about Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. This blog is on BC Cabernet Sauvignon wine for the summer. Sometime you want a big red wine, with good tannic structure to complement some serious barbecuing in your backyard or patio. Cabernet Sauvignon is known as the king of the red grapes, although some may say Syrah should share that crown. Cabernet Sauvignon typically has black currant and dark fruit aromas. It can also have other interesting aromas of cedar, violets, leather, or cigar box. The tannic backbone of this varietal helps it age gracefully in the bottle and bring out the nuances in aroma and flavour profiles.

Checking the www.EverythingWine.ca website for BC Cabs in the $15-$25 range I came up with:

Church & State Wines Cabernet Blanc 750mL Cabernet Sauvignon $23.99 More information about Church & State Wines Cabernet Blanc 750mL
Inniskillin Okanagan Cabernet Sauvignon Osoyoos 750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon $16.99 More information about Inniskillin Okanagan  Cabernet Sauvignon Osoyoos 750 mL
Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Edition VQA Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $16.99 More information about Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Edition VQA Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
J-Triggs Proprietors Select Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99 More information about J-Triggs Proprietors Select Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
Mission Hill 2003 Reserve Bin 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill 2003 Reserve  Bin 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve  Cabernet Sauvignon 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 88 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 88 750ml
Sonora Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99 More information about Sonora Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L
Sumac Ridge Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $22.99 More information about Sumac Ridge Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml

In general, Cabernet Sauvignon wines command a greater price than other varietals, due to their full body, their ageability, and cachet. I was happy to get 9 BC Cabs showing up in the $15-$25 price range. I’ve had the Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon many times over the years. It is a solid wine and sure to please. I recently visited the Sumac Ridge winery and sampled their Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. A nice full bodied Cab.

With the hot weather we are now having in BC, now might be the time to try some of these wines. Enjoy!

What does that wine taste like???

I’m sure we all have tasted a wine and tried to place a flavour in the wine. Does it taste earthy, flinty, plummy, like cut grass, or licorice? Over time, when you taste lots of wines, and take lots of notes when you are tasting, you start to gain a library of aromas and flavours in your brain. But when you are starting tasting wine, the range of aromas and flavours can be daunting.

One useful thing that you may want to have with you when you taste a wine, is a wine flavour wheel. You can buy plasticized ones from wine stores. There are also flavour wheels that you can find online and print. I’ve found one at this web page: Wine Flavour Wheel

If you check the wheel from the above link, you will find that there are 64 flavours for you to start with. If you don’t find a flavour that matches to what you are tasting, try categorizing the flavour. Is it citrusy, floral, sweet, for example? That may be all you can do to describe it. If you can go a bit deeper, and you recognize that it is citrusy, does it taste like a single fruit like a lemon, or a lime, or maybe it is a combination? There is nothing wrong to say that you taste both lemon and lime.

You will also find that certain flavours are commonly found with particular grapes, such as citrusy or herbal for Sauvignon Blanc, and strawberries, raspberries or violets for Pinot Noir.

Have fun with wine tasting. You will see with practice that you will be able to identify many more flavours than you were able to do when you started. Enjoy!

BC Reds at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest

March 28, 2009 08:19:24
Posted By Wine With Karl

It’s early Saturday morning. I spent almost 6 hrs tasting red wine yesterday at the Festival. There were many nice reds being poured in the BC area of the tasting room. The BC reds I tried:
– Averill Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 (nice violet nose)
Black Hills Estate Winery Carmenere 2006 (the signature grape of Chile growing here and doing a nice job)
– Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Merlot. Excellent, sweet black fruit and fine tannins
Cedar Creek Estate Winery Merlot Cabernet 2006 and Syrah 2006. Both big full bodied wines.
Garry Oaks Zeta 2006 (Marcel mentioned this is the first planting of Zwiegelt in BC)
– Cabernet Franc 2007 and The Bear 2006. Bordeaux blends
– Hillside Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2006
– Kettle Valley Winery Reserve Pinot Noir 2005, Malbec 2005, and Old Main Red 2005. All had an barnyard aroma to them.
La Frenz Merlot 2006 and Shiraz 2006. I put a star beside the Shiraz beside this one in my notes. Good balance, meaty./vanilla/dark fruit.
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Summit Reserve Pinot Noir 2006, S.R. Merlot 2005, and S.R. Summit (a Bordeaux blend). Mt. Boucherie always produces nice wines.
– Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery King’s Ransom 2006. Big red but needs 2-3 years for the tannins to soften
Osoyoos Larose Les Petales 2005, Le Grand Vin 2004, and Le Grand Vin 2006. The wine maker told me that the vines keep getting better each year and I agree. I loved the Le Grand Vin 2006 (star).

I’ll do a separate blog entry for the international reds I tasted on Friday. Enjoy!

What a difference a day, or two or more makes.

Keeping on the pinot noir topic from the last few blogs, last week I opened a bottle of Peller Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, 2006 vintage. The wine had an overpowering candied strawberry and violet aroma. It was way out of balance with the flavour of the wine. I put the cork back in the bottle and let it air out for a while. I tried it again two days later. The aroma was much less pronounced. There was still the violets, but now a bit of rustic/earthiness was present plus some dustiness. I then tried it again today (1 week after opening the bottle). The wine softened up nicely. The violet aroma was still there but again, much less than the last time I tried it. Even nicer flavour and finish than the previous day.

So the moral of my little story is if you have problems with the flavour or aroma of a wine, give it some time to breathe. Even a day or more. Oxygen can be a wine’s best friend. Enjoy!