IVSA Wine Picks for June 7, 2011 Tasting

This is probably the last Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) tasting of new wine, beer, and spirits until September. Everyone needs a summer vacation. The IVSA event showcases new wines (or new vintages of wines), beers, and spirits reaching the BC market. It is always exciting to see what new gems I can find and pass along to you. So here are my recommendations!

White Wines

Tiera Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, California, 2009. Watery lemon colour.  Light citrus nose.  Medium acidity. Very juicy on the palate with citrus and some apple.

La Chablisienne Saint-Bris Sauvignon Blanc 2010, France. Pale lemon. Some nettle, light gooseberry and lime aromas. Herbal, nettle flavour, medium body and length. An elegant wine.

Carmen Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Chile. Bright lemon in the glass. Lots of gooseberry and lime aromas. Medium body and high in acidity. Green and gooseberry flavours, with a flowery finish.

Honig Sauvignon Blanc ‘Napa’ 2009, California. Watery lemon. Nice herbal, gooseberry and flowers on the nose. High acidity with red apple, flowers and citrus flavours. A bit of roundness. A top value from Wine Spectator.

Red Wines

Olivares Jumilla Rose 2010, Spain. I reviewed this rose during the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and recommended it.  Tasting it again today, I still recommend it. Bright cherry colour. Light cherry nose.  Light body with ripe red cherries and strawberry flavours. Medium acid and low tannins. Very refreshing.

Finca Las Moras Reserva Shiraz 2006, Argentina. This one is the deal of the tasting.  It is a speculative wine.  The price of this wine is $11.99 a bottle. Buy a case and enjoy with bbq all summer. Opaque purple in colour.  Tarry, meaty, dark cherry and vanilla aromas.  Brooding. Full body with vanilla, black cherries and soft tannins.

Domaine La Fond, Cotes du Rhone 2009, France. This is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. Medium garnet. Cassis nose. Medium body with dark chocolate, cassis and spice.  Firm tannins with a dry finish.  This is a nice wine, but it needs to be paired with food for full enjoyment.

Tomero Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Mendoza, Argentina. Medium ruby. Nice nose of vanilla, cassis and ripe cherries. Ripe cassis, black cherries and vanilla flavours. Spicy with plum coming in later. Round on the palate with firm, yet fine tannins. Very tasty.

Manium Crianza 2007, Bierzo, Spain, 2007.  If you have never tried wine made from the Mencia grape, here is your chance.  Deep purple in the glass, with earthy, chocolate and black cherry aromas. Full body with ripe black cherries, cassis, milk chocolate and sweet spices. Very nice.

Chateau La Gordonne, Les Gravieres Rose 2010, Cotes de Provence, France. This rose is a blend of grenache, syrah, cinsaut, mourvedre and tibouren. Watery pink in the glass. Nice sweet cherry and strawberry aromas. Sweet cherries, bonbon, strawberry flavours. Very juicy. Low tannins with medium length. A fun summer wine. It is a one time buy so get it before it’s gone.

Enjoy the summer with these wines.

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Would You Like Nice Bubble and More for Christmas?

Today is one of my favourite times of the year. The last Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) trade wine tasting typically has a lot of sparkling wine and other wines to taste in preparation for the Christmas season. I spent half of my time exclusively trying sparkling wines, and the other half of my time on white and red still wines. There was so much sparkling wine, that I could have easily spent my entire time tasting these wines.

As usual, I would like to pass along those wines that were very good in my opinion, so that you can purchase them either at a government or a private liquor store. Some are at a very good price (sub $20).

Recommended sparkling wines:
Pierre Paillard Grand Cru NV Brut (France). A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This wine is light peachy pink in colour. Bread and cherry aromas. Light small bubbles with lemon, cherry and apple flavours. Bready, citrus finish. Very nice.

Codorniu Classico Brut NV (Spain) $13.99. Pale lemon in colour. Lemon, yeast and slight petrol aroma. Fine bubble. Off dry with crisp acidity. Lemon and apple flavours. Medium length.

Hungaria Grande Cuvee Brut (Hungary) on sale $12.95 during Dec 2010. This is a very easy drinking sparkling wine from Hungary. Pale lemon in colour. Lychee, crisp apple nose. Light bubble with medium length. Apple and lemon flavours with a herbal finish.

J.G. Carrion Cristalino Cava Rosado Brut (Spain) on sale till Jan 2, 2011, $13.99. A mix of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Trepeat. Pale cherry colour with a light cherry nose. Cherry and raspberry flavours. Small bubble. Dry with a cherry finish.

Perle d’Aurore Cremant de Bourgogne Rose NV (France) $on sale till Feb 27, 2011, $23.95. Light salmon colour in the glass. Strawberry aroma. Strawberry and cherry flavour. Small, aggressive bubble in our mouth. Off dry. Very good.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne NV (France) $59.99. Bread and citrus on the nose. Very fine, small bubble. Dry on the palate. Lemon, oak, and almond flavour. Long finish. A very elegant Champagne.

Recommended white wines:
Teira Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley 2009 (California). This is a small production organic wine producer. If you tasted this wine, you would not guess that it is a Sauvignon Blanc. You might guess Pinot Gris. This wine is medium lemon in colour. Peachy, lychee, and flowery aromas. Light to medium body, medium acidity with apple and some herbal flavour. Round mouth feel.

Kooyong Estate Chardonnay 2006 (Australia) $49.99. Light lemon colour. Oak, vanilla, butter and citrus on the nose. Round mouth feel. Apple, citrus and oak flavours. Medium body.

Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2007 (California) $34.95. Light lemon with a green tinge colour. Light lemon, apple, and flowers on the nose. Round mouth feel with cinnamon flavour up front. Medium body. Apple and lemon flavours. Long length.

Recommended red wines:
Velletri Riserva 2004 (Italy), on sale till Nov 27, 2010, $17.99. This is a red wine from the Sangiovese grape. This may have been my favourite wine of the tasting, and it is at a great price. Medium cherry colour. An interesting nose with pencil leads and red cherries. Medium body, round mouth feel with smooth tannins.

Chanson Pere Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2007 (France) $26.52. Light cherry in colour.  Light strawberry and red cherry aromas.  Strawberry, raspberry, cherry and vanilla flavours.  Light body with low tannins. Very nice.

Chateau de Ferrand St. Emilion Grand Cru AOC 2003 (France) $39.99. This is a red wine from the right bank in Bordeaux.  It is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Medium light garnet in colour. Nice vanilla, and red cherry nose.  Medium body with vanilla, ripe red fruit flavours.  The flavour builds in your mouth.  A wonderful wine.

Montresor Capitel della Crosara Appassimento IGT 2006 (Italy) $24.99.  This is a “ripasso” style wine, which is made by reserving wine made during the recent vintage then placing this wine on the pressed grape skins and lees in the vats used for Amarone and allowed to ferment further in contact with those skins, to acquire additional body and flavour. This wine was medium to dark garnet coloured in the glass.  Red cherry and vanilla on the nose.  Lots of fruit flavours on the palate, particularly raspberries and black cherry.  Medium body.

Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red 2006 (California) $19.99.  This is a fun red wine, made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Medium purple colour.  Nice cherry and raspberry nose.  Full body with raspberry and black cherry flavours.  Firm tannins but not overpowering.  Purple fruit and cherry on the finish.

There were many more wines to taste, and I’m sure I could have recommended more.  You may notice that there are no BC wines listed.  The IVSA tasting is for new vintages, and new wines being brought into the BC market.  There are plenty of very good BC wines, but none were being poured at this event.  So please enjoy the wines I’ve listed, but don’t forget BC wines.