BCWAS 8th Generation Vineyard Event April 21

Come out to the BCWAS 8th Generation Vineyard wine tasting on Thursday April 21 and experience more BC wine.  There are so many BC wineries around now.  I am in particular VERY interested to try their Riesling and Pinot Noir, as I did a BC Riesling Review last year, and this year I am now starting my BC Pinot Noir Review. Here is the tasting announcement from the BCWAS.

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Join us for a fun tasting with Stefanie Schales of 8th Generation Vineyard!

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        Photo credit 8th Generation.

When Stefanie and Bernd Schales decided to call their winery “8th Generation” they really meant it. Their families have been making wine in Germany since 1783 – that’s a lot of history!

Stefanie studied architecture while Bernd followed the family tradition by becoming a winemaker. He studied at the State Academy for Viticulture & Oenologie of Weinsberg in Germany, and went on to make wine in Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.

After immigrating to Canada from Germany, Stefanie and Bernd purchased their first vineyard, in OK Falls, in 2003. In 2007, they bought the winery in Summerland. Our BCWAS September bus tour has been there twice, and each time the stop was one of our highlights!

8th Generation makes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Meunier Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah as well as two frizzante-style bubblies and their flagship Riesling.

Stefanie and Bernd with the 9th generation.                  Photo credit www.spiegel.de.

Stefanie is bringing 12 wines with her, so we’ll get to taste almost everything! 

Wines being poured include:

·         2015 Integrity frizzante

·         2014 Confidence frizzante

·         2014 Chardonnay

·         2015 Riesling Classic

·         2014 Riesling (Best Riesling in Canada at the All-Canadian Wine Championship)

·         2013 Riesling Selection

·         2015 Riesling Selection tank sample

·         2015 Pinot Meunier Rosé

·         2012 Pinot Noir

·         2014 Cabernet/Merlot

·         2013 Syrah

·         2015 RedOne

 

And because we know how much you love your wine and cheese, we’re also going to have a few platters from Les Amis du Fromage.

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The beautiful new tasting room at the winery..             Photo credit: 8th Generation

Date:  Thursday April 21, 2016

Time: 7:30-9:30

Place: our regular venue, De Dutch Pannekoek House, Vancouver Convention Centre West, located in the western corner, lower (seawall) level, near the Olympic Torch.

Price:  Members: only $39/ Guests: $55

Click here to sign up: http://www.bcwas.ca/latest-news/join-us-for-a-fun-tasting-with-stefanie-schales-of-8th-generation-vineyard

Directions:

Transit:  It’s a short walk from both Burrard and Waterfront Stations.

From Burrard Station: walk down (north) on Burrard to the new Convention Centre.

From Waterfront Station: walk west to the new Convention Centre.

You can either walk west along Waterfront Rd to the Olympic Torch, then go across the plaza towards the water and down the stairs, or, follow the seawall along in front of the Convention Centre until you come to the restaurant.

Driving: You can park under the Convention Centre West. Follow the signs for the seaplane terminal. Use the doors closest to the Tap & Barrel. Parking can be expensive, though. You may be able to find cheaper parking a few blocks away.

As always, we recommend that you take transit, and we will provide you with a free ticket home.

2016/2017 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until the end of March 2017. Only $40 for a whole year of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Questions? Contact us at events@bcwas.com.

Please note: There are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home. Take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take BC Transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

Tulalip Resort Hosts Mondavi “Generations Dinner” August 4

Marc Mondavi

Who hasn’t heard of the Mondavi Family of California?  They were instrumental in making Napa Valley wines well known and enjoyed around the world. With this dinner at the Tulalip Resort Casino, you can rub shoulders with Marc Mondavi, try wines that you normally would not be able to get, and enjoy the incredible food from the Tulalip Resort Casino.  I think that this would be a wonderful time to take your wine-loving spouse or friend and have a fun weekend enjoying wine, food, and a bit of gambling.  Here is the announcement about the event.  Enjoy!

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Guests will get a chance to rub elbows with one of California’s legendary wine families — the Mondavi’s, at the third in a series of “Taste with Tommy” wine dinners. The “Generations Dinner” will be held Saturday, August 4th on the Orca Ballroom patio and is hosted by the Resort’s Sommelier Tommy Thompson. This outdoor summer soiree is firmly rooted in the family tradition of wine.  Marc Mondavi and his daughters will pair their legendary Napa bottling selection  (exclusive wines — not available outside of California) with Chef Perry Mascitti’s decadent picnic fare resulting in an alfresco wine and food party like no other — overflowing with Italian hospitality, history and multi-award winning wines.

Marc, a third generation member of the legendary Mondavi wine clan, embraces a heritage filled with the importance of “family”.  Grandfather Cesare emigrated from Italy and built a lucrative grape and fruit shipping business, before purchasing the Charles Krug Winery in 1943.  At 60 years old he spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed, creating an enduring wine icon, while still maintaining it as a family winery.

During the evening, the generations will speak about their amazing heritage, the evening’s pours and carrying on the Mondavi legacy. It is no exaggeration to say that Marc’s four daughters were introduced to the wine industry at birth!

The Mondavi “Generations Dinner” will take place from 6 – 9 pm and is priced at $124 pp inclusive of gratuity (Brown Paper Tickets’ service fee and sales tax are extra).  For ticket purchase go to http:/www.brownpapertickets.com/e/250187 or call the Tulalip Banquet reservation phone line at  (360) 716-6888 .  Guests must be a minimum of 21 years to attend.

More Winery Picks at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Fest 2012

las perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008

Day 2 is over for me at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. I spent a portion of my time finishing off some Chilean wineries (and interviewing a few wine makers) but the majority of the time was trying the other wineries’ wines at the Festival. If you are attending tomorrow’s tasting, here are some wines that you may want to try. Tasting notes will follow after the Festival is over.

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Argentina
  • Amalaya Gran Corta 2010, Argentina
  • Finca Flichman Expresiones Malbec / Cabenet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina
  • O. Fournier Alfa Crux Malbec 2008, Argentina
  • Las Perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008, Argentina (I really like this wine.  Try it if you can!)
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Torrontes 2011, Argentina
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Malbec 2011, Argentina
  • Delas Freres Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette 2009, France
  • Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-pape Cuvee Barberini 2005, France
  • Damilano Nebbiolo d’Alba 2009, Italy
  • Damilano Barolo “Lecinquevigne” DOCG 2006, Italy
  • Quinta dos Roques Quinta do Correio red wine 2009, Portugal (very interesting indigenous grapes used)
  • Quinta dos Roques Red 2009, Portugal
  • Quinta dos Roques Reserva 2007, Portugal
  • Lammershoek Winery Pinotage 2007, South Africa
  • J. Lohr Vineyards Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, California
  • Trefethen Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California
  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2009, California
  • Iber Wine, Casa Jus Antiguos Vinedos Tempranillo 2006, Spain
  • Domecq Bodegas Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2003, Spain

Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

There are many more wines and wineries that I did not have a chance to try.  Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were not able to get my attention, but there are many good wines from there too.  I hope you enjoy some of my latest wine picks!

There are also a few more Chilean wines for the list that I tried today:

  • Vina Caliterra Cenit 2008
  • Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
  • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  • Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2008
  • Miguel Torres Santa Digna Fair Trade Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Miguel Torres Conde de Superunda 2005
  • Vina San Pedro Cabo de Hornos 2007

Enjoy!  I also love to hear what you liked at the Festival.  Leave a comment please with your favourites.

Taste of Tulalip: What to Expect at the Magnum Party

Below is a sampling of the wines that will be poured on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Taste of Tulalip. During the Magnum Party you can nibble on some of Kathy Casey‘s dishes from her latest book Sips and Apps. From what I’ve seen, these wines, amongst others, will be poured.  Many iconic wines in this list.  It could be a chance of a lifetime to try these wines together in one place! Champagne, an Australian icon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Napa, Italy; they are all here.  I am really excited about this lineup and can’t wait to taste them myself.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2004 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

Who is Kathy Casey?

Kathy Casey

I mentioned that Kathy Casey will be serving food to accompany these wines.  In case you don’t know, Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and pioneer in the bar-chef movement.

She played a key role in bringing Northwest cuisine and women chefs to national prominence and, as one of the first female executive chefs in the United States, she was named one of Food & Wine’s “hot new American chefs.” She has also been touted as being the original Bar Chef.

Take the short drive to Tulalip in WA state and have a fun time trying wine and tasting food for a weekend. To buy tickets to a Taste of Tulalip, follow this link.

Enjoying Blasted Church – Sip + Savour

Image Courtesy Fairmont Herons Restaurant

Wine and cheese.  Always an enjoyable time when paired together.  Today I looked forward to going to Herons Restaurant in Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in downtown Vancouver to try a flight of wines from Blasted Church winery and a pairing of cheeses from The Farm House Natural Cheeses and cheese from the Kootenays and from Salt Spring Island. You too can enjoy Sip + Savour because it takes place daily from 2pm to 5pm (excluding Sundays) at a cost of just $35.95.

Mark Wendenburg with a bottle of Blasted Church wine

Walking into Herons, I looked for an empty wine glass and a table with some wines to taste.  With my luck, the table I picked had the new wine maker from Blasted Church, Mr. Mark Wendenburg, pouring wine. Mark Wendenburg left Sumac Ridge Winery after working with them for18 years. Mark was a born and raised Penticton, and has travelled around the world, getting trained in Germany, and then making wines in New Zealand and Australia before settling back in the Okanagan. Mark is a very friendly person and I enjoyed speaking with him for a long time about wine making style, terroir, and more.

White Wines

The white wines I tasted were all fresh and fruit forward. Perfect for the summer, which I am told should arrive soon!

Pinot Gris 2010 ($19.99). I was told by Mark that their Pinot Gris always has a bit of Viognier blended in. This vintage had 8% added to the Pinot Gris. Pale lemon in colour.  Light peach and apple aromas.  High acidity but still round mouth feel. Medium body.  Flavours of ripe tropical fruits.

Blasted Church Pinot Gris on ice

Chardonnay Musque 2010 ($17.99). The Chardonnay Musque grape is a unique clone of Chardonnay that was pioneered in the Niagara Peninsula by Château des Charmes’ founder Paul Bosc. It has the Muscat character, which is very aromatic and an aroma of oranges.  This wine was pale lemon in colour. Very aromatic of oranges and flowers. Medium body, dry and medium acidity.  Juicy fruits of lemon and tropical fruit on the palate, also a bit of vanilla.  A nice long, dry finish.

Mixed Blessings 2010 ($17.99). This is the third vintage of this wine, and each vintage is made of a unique blend of white grapes. This vintage was made with Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  Nice aromatic nose. Green and stone fruits.  Off dry with a slight green, herbal flavour.  Light body with medium acidity and light spice to finish. Nice.

Gewurztraminer 2010 ($16.99). Pale lemon in the glass. Flowers and lychee greet your nose. High acidity with flowers,lychee and bonbon flavours.  Light body and has a nice balance of roundness with acidity in your mouth. Another nice wine!

Hatfield’s Fuse 2010 ($17.99). This is a blend of white grapes including Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Light lychee and herbal nose.  Round mouth feel with a nice balance of acidity.  Juicy fruit gum flavour.

Rose and Red Wines

Blasted Church has a wide range of reds from rose and lighter bodied Pinot Noir, up to a full bodied Bordeaux Blend.

Rose 2010 ($17.99). This rose is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Usually I expect a single varietal, like Pinot Noir or Merlot, so I was very interested to taste this rose. Very pale cherry colour. Nice strawberry aromas.  Raspberry leaf, strawberry, and capsicum flavours.  High acidity and spicy on your palate. Light body and long length.  This wine packs a punch with 14.9% alcohol, so beware as you sip this one on the patio.

Pinot Noir 2009 ($24.99). I am a Pinot Noir fan and I think that the Okanagan produces some nice Pinot Noir wines. This wine was a bit Burgundian in style. Pale cherry colour, with a smoky, earthy nose.  Between a light and medium body with more smokiness and earthiness on the palate, along with cherries.  Low tannins with medium acidity. Dry with medium length.

Blasted Church Cabernet Merlot and blue cheese

Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot ($25.99). Deep garnet in colour. Ripe, dark fruit, vanilla, capsicum and pencil lead aromas. Medium body round and soft in your mouth with juicy ripe fruits, cherries and vanilla. Also a bit on spiciness on the finish.  Long length.  This wine tastes sweet, but it is just the juiciness of the fruit. Nice.

Nothing Sacred 2008 ($39.99). I’m not sure why the name, but the label shows a dead goat with it’s legs up in the air! This is a premium Bordeaux blend comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Each parcel of fruit was processed and vinified separately.  After vinification, the wines went into their finest oak barrels and aged separately until a final blend was determined. Deep garnet in the glass. Ripe dark fruit, vanilla and dark chocolate nose. Full body with cassis, plums, and opulent vanilla flavours.  Dry with medium tannins and soft acid.  Try this wine with a steak on your barbeque this long weekend.

Artisan Cheese

To pair with several of Blasted Church’s wines were artisan cheese by The Farm House Natural Cheeses, plus an Alpindon cheese from the Kootenay’s and a  “Beddis Blue” from Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Salt Spring Island.

Alpindon cheese with Blasted Church Pinot Gris

The Alpindon cheese was paired with the Pinot Gris. This is a hard cheese, slightly creamy and salty, with a bit of crunchiness to it. A bit of pungency but still quite mild for most people. It went nicely with the pinot gris.

I checked up on this cheese via the Internet and found that it is made by the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company in Creston, BC. They describe the Alpindon cheese as “a firm cheese carefully modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. Following centuries old tradition this cheese is hand-rubbed and made only with milk from summer pastures. It exhibits a smooth nut flavour, a complex finish, a rich golden interior and a dark textured rind. Additional aging concentrates its flavours, deepens its complexity, and increases the sweet crystals that develop throughout the body of the cheese.”

Variety of Cheeses from Farm House Natural Cheeses

The Farm House Natural Cheeses‘ Farm House cheddar was paired with the Chardonnnay Musque. This cheddar felt medium aged to me with some nice nuttiness, a bit of cheddar sharpness, and low in salt. It is hard for a cheddar not to pair nicely with any wine, and this one matched well. A drop of sweet chutney was added to the cheese so you had some sweet, sharp, nutty, and salty flavours to go with the Chardonnay Musque. I spoke with I believe Debra Amrein-Boyes, who is one of only twelve people in western Canada and the US who has been inducted into the prestigious French Cheese Guild, the “Guilde des Fromagers Confrerie de Saint-Uguzon“.  I was very interested to hear how they made one of their blue cheeses, and her description of their camembert cheese.  They are located in Agassiz, BC, so I hope to make a pilgrimage to their Fromagerie before the summer is out, see her contented cows and try more of her fabulous cheeses.

The last cheese paired was the  “Beddis Blue” from Moonstruck Organic Cheese onSalt Spring Island. Very creamy with a mild bite. A drop of honey made by bees kept on the roof of the Fairmont Waterfront hotel, was added to this blue cheese.  It was a very interesting flavour combination.  I’ve never mixed honey and blue cheese, but it works and paired nicely with the fruitiness and acidity in the Cabernet Merlot blend.

If you are a fan of bees and honey, the Fairmont Waterfront hotel does offer their guests a guided Herb Garden & Honeybee Tour. Also if you are a chocolate fan, try the hotel’s honey truffles, the “Bee’s Knees”. The truffles, created in partnership with British Columbia’s legendary chocolatier, Rogers’ Chocolates, are offered in milk and dark chocolate and feature flavour notes of butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon.

Have a great summer, enjoying some wine and cheese on your patio!

Thank Your Mom with these Mothers Day Wine Selections

Mother’s Day is coming up soon. We all like to treat our mothers. A nice meal and nice wine is one option. Some wines you may want to consider.

Sparkling Wine

  • Fresita sparkling (Chile). This is a blend of white sparkling wine with blended strawberries. Very nice and fruity. Would be a nice way to start a breakfast if you don’t want to make a mimosa.
  • Champagne Lallier Rose (France). Very pale pinkish orange colour. Light strawberry nose. Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour. You can never go wrong with Champagne. If you cannot afford Champagne, maybe try an Italian Prosecco or a Spanish Cava.
  • Moreson  Blanc de Blancs Brut Method  Cap Classic (South Africa)   Chardonnay  NV.    A very fine bubble. Red apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. It had a long finish. Nice.
  • Codorniu Sparkling Brut (Spain) Pinot Noir NV.   This Spanish Cava is light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.

White Wines

If you mother likes white wines here are a few suggestions.

  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (Canada). This is 100% Chardonnay from a blend of 3 Chardonnay clones: 2 Dijon and 1 Loire. A portion of the wine is fermented in French oak and left sur lies for 10 months. Pale lemon with a green tint in the glass.  Flower and lemon on the nose. Medium body with vanilla, pineapple flavours.  Medium acidity. A very well balanced wine.  This is a chardonnay that everyone should try.
  • Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (New Zealand).  Pale lemon in the glass.  Lots of gooseberry on the nose with some herbal on the nose that continued to the palate.  Medium plus acidity with long length.  Really nice flavour.
  • Township 7 Viognier 2008 was medium lemon in colour. Honey, lime and tropical fruit on the nose. Medium acidity with citrus, mango and papaya flavours. If you have not tried a Viognier before, this one will get you hooked.
  • Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Chile). It had varied aromas of citrus, pineapple and apple. On the palate there was good acidity with pineapple flavour and medium length.
  • La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (Canada). Pale lemon in the glass. Lots of vanilla with a hint of eucalyptus / menthol. Nice acidity.  Round mouthfeel with pineapple and spice.

Red Wines

Maybe your mother prefers red wine or you are planning to BBQ something for her.  Here are some suggestions.

  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile). Santa Rita is a premium producer from Chile.  I really enjoy their wines, and spent time visiting them in Chile. Their Medalla Real Pinot Noir is coloured light purple in the glass.  Ripe cassis aromas. Round mouth feel, light boded with an abundance of cassis flavour.  Low tannins.
  • Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand). Pale purple colour.  Lots of raspberry aroma and flavour.  Also a bit of tea leaves on the palate. Light body with medium acidity.
  • Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2007 (Canada). Opaque puple in the glass. Ripe cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the nose. Full bodied with firm yet smooth tannins.  Ripe black cherry flavour.
  • Howling Bluff Estate Winery Summa Quies Estate Pinot Noir 2009 (Canada). Pale garnet in colour. Beautiful violets and strawberry aromas. Soft, light bodied, with vanilla, strawberries and ripe cherries on the palate.  Highly recommended.
  • d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2008, (Australia)  This wine is light garnet in colour.  Smoke and raspberry on the nose.  Petrol, cassis, raspberry flavours.  Low tannins. Very refreshing.
  • Bennett Lane Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California) This cab is deep garnet in colour. A nice nose with ripe cassis and vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel with dark fruit and dry tannins. Long lingering flavours.
  • Clos du Val Wine Company Zinfandel 2009 (California). Light garnet in colour. Smoky raspberry nose. Medium body with raspberry and cassis flavours, with vanilla and spice on the finish. An elegant wine.
  • La Stella Allegretto 2008 (Canada). This is 100% Merlot grown from their Stag vineyard in Osoyoos on it’s own rootstock!  Deep purple in the glass.  Lots of raspberry, cherry and vanilla on the nose.  Full body with mocha, cherry and vanilla flavour, and a hint of raspberry.  Medium tannins with a long finish.

I’ve tried to give you a range of wines from light to full bodied.  I hope there is one for you and for your mother.  Enjoy!

Bordeaux Blends for the Long Weekend

Our last long weekend, Labour Day, is upon us. Soon the rains will start here in BC. So fire up the BBQ for maybe one last great hurrah, and open a bottle of a BC Bordeaux blend.

When I speak of Bordeaux blend, in this blog I’m talking about red wine. There is a white Bordeaux blend, but I’ll cover that in a different blog.

In a red Bordeaux blend, you can have a blend of up to the following different grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. Malbec and Carmenere are rarely used in Bordeaux now as they were hard to harvest to ripeness and most of the vines are gone. In Bordeaux due to the variations in the climate each year; sometimes a cooler year, and sometimes warmer, you needed to blend earlier ripening and later ripening grapes in order to get a good wine. In the Okanagan, we are blessed with fairly good weather every summer so we can do single varietals, but still blending adds additional complexity to the wine.

With that said, I checked into everythingwine.ca and identified the following BC Bordeaux blends in the $15-$25 range:

Black Widow Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 375 mL Red blend $24.99
Blasted Church Winery Big Bang Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $23.99
Domaine de Chaberton Canoe Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $15.99
Fork In The Road Winery Oliver Block 249 Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Hester Creek 2004 Cabernet – Merlot – Cab Franc 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Cuvee Noir 2008 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Kettle Valley Starboard Fortified Malbec / Petit Verdot 375ml Red blend $24.99
Kettle Valley Old Main Red 375ml Red blend $23.99
Lake Breeze Vineyards Meritage Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $24.99
Road 13 Vineyards Rockpile Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $24.99
Sonora Ranch Proprietor’s Select Red 1.5 L Red blend $15.99
Therapy Vineyards Freud’s Ego 750ml Red blend $19.99
Toscano Rosso Red 2.0L Red blend $16.99

A few of the above blends may have some non-Bordeaux variety grapes in them, such as the Kalala Cuvee Noir, but most I think are all true Bordeaux blends.  In the past I’ve tasted the following BC Bordeaux blends:

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc    2006    Deep reddish purple. Light aromas of cherry, cedar and slight herbaceousness. Round mouthfeel.  Dark fruit liquor, cherry and plum flavours with a vanilla finish.

Poplar Grove    Legacy Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec    2004    Black fruit aromas with a slight wisp of capsicum.  Round mouthfeel with dark fruit and firm tannins.  Dry with a black cherry finish.

Howling Bluff    Sin Cera Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Malbec    2007    Deep purple with a red edge. Smoky, dark fruit aromas.  Dark fruit, cherry and spicy flavours.  Spicy / cherry finish.  Firm tannins.

Black Widow Winery    Hourglass Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon    2007    Nice nose with casis, cherry, plum and vanilla.  Fruit forward.  Black cherry, plum and some vanilla on palate.  Medium length.

Therapy Vineyards    Freud’s Ego Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc / Merlot    2007    Medium garnet with slight purple colouration.  Oak, cherry, currant and cedar aromas.  Cherry, red and dark berries, and vanilla flavour.  Round mouth feel, soft tannins.  Cherry finish.

I have many more in the list, but to keep it brief, I’ve listed just a few.  I hope you enjoy your Labour Day long weekend with a red  BC Bordeaux blend.

Cheers.

Win with your wine at the Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition

I received this note recently, and thought that maybe there are a few wineries around that may not know about this competition.  It is always good to get your wines reviewed, and win some awards.  You spend lots of time and hard labour bringing your wines to the table.  Why not submit them?  Here is the note:

There are TWO WEEKS remaining to enter your wines in the 2010 Vancouver magazine International Wine Competition.  Please submit your entries online by Wednesday, September 15th, 2010.  Online application is available at www.vanmag.com – click on the competition logo on the homepage.

Why should you enter:

·         This is a wine competition with a difference!

·         Wines judged by style category – just the way consumers choose wine

·         Over 100 winners in 10 different style categories

·         Western Canada’s largest judging of international and domestic wines

·         Distinguished judging panel of Canada’s acknowledged experts including Masters of Wine, BC’s top sommeliers, educators, critics, journalists and buyers

·          55,000 issues of the January/February 2011 issue featuring the top 100 winners

·         The #1 selling edition that is retained by readers for year-long reference

·         Winning wines are showcased weekly as the most viewed item on Vancouver magazine’s WEEKEND FIX newsletter straight to 5,500 inboxes every Thursday

·         Top wines also featured in 19,000 copies of GuestLife Vancouver; 18,000 copies of Vancouver magazine’s CityGuide

·         All award-winning wines receive on-line exposure (vanmag.com) for one year featuring a wine description, bottle shot and link to the BC Liquor Store stock search page for easy access for consumers to find and purchase the wine

·         Exposure at the prestigious BIG NIGHT event that celebrates the 10 category winners paired with Vancouver magazine  Restaurant Award winners in a lavish, much-anticipated food and wine event in the spring of 2011

·         BC Liquor Stores promotion

·         BC Liquor store promotion gives unprecedented exposure to award-winning wines

·         18,000 overruns of Vancouver magazine’s January/February supplement are distributed to more than 30 participating liquor stores

Thank you for supporting this influential competition.

Yours in wine,

DJ Kearney, Chief Judge

2011 Vancouver magazine International Wine Competition

Important Dates:

ENTRY DEADLINE                                                                                             SEPTEMBER 15TH

Consolidation Point Open                                                                            September 20th

Consolidation Point Closed                                                                          October 1st

Wine Judging                                                                                                     October 27-29th

Winners Published Online                                                                            December 6th

Wine Awards Issue Available                                                                      December 20th

BCLDB Promotion Begins                                                                              February 1st

Big Night Vancouver                                                                                       February 4th

MyWinePal Meets MAN ‘O WAR winemaker Duncan McTavish

I was eagerly anticipating trying some New Zealand wines with & from Man O’ War winemaker Mr. Duncan McTavish. Duncan is a passionate New Zealand winemaker. He was trained in New Zealand and has spent time working harvests in Europe in Burgundy, the Rheingau and the Mosel and throughout the New World regions of California, Australia and finally back to settle in New Zealand. The Man O’ War winery is located on a smaller island called Waiheke Island, just off of Auckland. (Here is a Google Map of the Man O’ War winery). Duncan mentioned that this is the most northern winery in New Zealand. Being on this small island, the grapes are influenced by the maritime climate keeping the vines cool and adding vibrancy to the grapes.

All their grapes are 100% estate grown and hand harvested. The estate is also family owned.

I was privileged to try two wines from Man O’ War with Duncan McTavish. The first is the Man O’ War Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 ($23.99). This wine is medium lemon in colour. Lots of lime and tropical fruit on the nose. Bracing acidity with lemon and tropical flavours, with a hint of herbal character. Long finish. A nice example of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

The second wine was the Man O’ War Merlot / Cabernet / Franc / Malbec 2008 ($28.99). The blend for this wine is 42% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium purple/garnet in colour. Smoky with black cherry and tar aromas. Black cherry, cassis, and vanilla flavours. It was medium plus in body with medium silky tannins and good acidity to balance the fruit. Very nicely done. It had a long length with a dry cherry finish. A quality wine that coated the glass.

The winery also has a premium level of wines called their Black label wines.  They are named after great battleships or classes of battleships.  Hopefully we will someday get to try their Valhalla Chardonnay, Dreadnought Syrah, and Ironclad Bordeaux blend.

I tried Man O’ War’s wines at Everything Wine in North Vancouver.  You probably can find their wines also in other specialty wine shops.  Cheers!

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!