Thank you very much to Mr. John Clerides, the owner of Marquis Wine Cellars, for opening up a variety of sparkling, white, and red wines for us, wine bloggers to try. What wines did we get to try? There were 14 different wines, and I will outline here in this blog the ones that I liked the most. These wines are all available at Marquis Wine Cellars, so feel free to go by their shop to pick up a bottle or two.
Onto the wines! There was one sparkling wine in our tasting line-up which I quite enjoyed. The Champagne Agrapart NV Terroirs Blanc de Blanc, France, ($54.90) is made solely from the Chardonnay grape. This wine was medium lemon in colour. Nice bready, lemon, and apple aromas. Fine bubble with a dry mouthfeel. Lemon and some sweet spice on the palate with a long lingering finish.
One white of note was the Lusco do Mino Albarino 2009, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain ($24.90). Rias Baixas is a cooler region in the northwest area of Spain. The Albarino grape produces a higher acid wine that is very aromatic. This wine had a light flowery nose. Light in body with lychee, almond, apple and spice on the palate. Very tasty.
My second white wine pick was the Domaine Barmes-Buecher Pinot Gris 2006, Herrenweg, Alsace, France ($32.90). This Pinot Gris was quite a deep lemon colour. Sweet apricot nose. It smelled very much like an ice wine, with that same level of aromatic intensity. It was though medium body and dry on the palate, with marmalade and apricot flavour. Quite impressive.
My last white wine choice was the Le Mont Bonnezeaux 2004, Loire Valley, France ($38.90). Although the variety of grape is not obvious, coming from the Loire Valley, this was a Chenin Blanc. Another deeply lemon coloured wine. This one had honey and some stone fruit on the nose. Medium + body, a bit of sweetness. Round mouthfeel with apple, mushroom, and oak flavours. An unctus wine.
What about the red wines? My overall favorite was the Domino de Tares Cepas Viejas 2007, Bierzo, Spain ($29.90). This wine is made from the indigenous grape called Mencia. This grape grows in the cooler northwest corner of Spain. It is a lower acid grape with red fruit aromas and flavours and earthy richness. The Bierzo region is also being touted as the next Priorat of Spain! This wine was A deep blackish purple in colour. Vanilla and sweet black fruit on the nose. Full body with medium tannins, sweet ripe black fruit, vanilla, with cinnamon spice on the mid palate. Good acidity to balance the fruit and full body of this wine. I hope we get to see more Spanish wines from Bierzo at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival this April as Spain is the theme country!
My other red wine selection was the Domaine Roc des Anges Cepas Viejas 2006, Roussillon, France ($39.90). This is a blend with primarily carignan and I am guessing grenache noir, and syrah from my quick research on the web. This wine is dark garnet in the glass. Dried cherries, licorice, and dried herbs on the nose. Full of flavour, with ripe cherries and a spicy mid palate. Dry with medium tannins and medium length.