April 9 and 10, 2011 was the Spring Wine Release Party at Lulu Island Winery, located in Richmond, BC. This was not a release of all their new vintages .There were three fruit wines released, one of which is a brand new fruit wine for me. The three fruit wines I tasted were:
- Raspberry 2008 ($15.95)
- Cranberry 2007 ($16.95)
- Passion Fruit 2006 ($18.95)
The raspberries and cranberries are sourced locally. The raspberries coming from Abbotsford and the cranberries from Richmond. I haven’t seen any passion fruit trees growing locally, and found out the fruit for this wine came from Taiwan in pulp format.
All three fruit wines have sweetness between 2 and 4, so you would think you would be tasting quite sweet libations, but you would be wrong. These three wines have nice tart acidity that balances out the sugar.
The Raspberry 2008 is deep garnet in colour with aromas of juicy raspberries and floweriness. Dry mouthfeel with sour raspberry flavour. This was a nice pairing with some ripe strawberries at the tasting.
The Cranberry 2007 had red cherry and cranberry aromas. Sour red cherry and cranberry flavour. Medium length. Also good with the strawberries.
The Passion Fruit 2006 had a very intriguing aromas and flavours. This wine had a beautiful golden colour in the glass. How do you describe passion fruit aroma and flavour to someone that has not grown up with this fruit? My initial stab at a description was honey, peach and ripe topical fruit. The wine also had a dried raisin flavour to it too. Very dry with medium body. Lots of pucker power with this wine. Good crisp acidity.
While I was there, I thought I’d try two of the red wines which I had before. The Lulu Island Cabernet Franc 2009 ($24.95) was deep garnet in colour. Slight cedar on the nose along with red cherries. On the palate it was soft in the mouth with ripe red cherries, vanilla and cedar flavours. Low tannins and medium length. A very enjoyable wine.
The Lulu Island Meritage 2009 ($31.95) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. It had a dark fruit nose. Quite round mouthfeel. Cherries, raspberries and vanilla on the palate. Soft tannins with some spice on the finish. Another nice wine.
Lulu Island’s current vintages of Merlot 2009, Pinot Noir 2009, and Blueberry wines are SOLD OUT. Their Late Harvest Merlot stock is low. Take a weekend trip to Lulu Island Winery. They are in Richmond so not too far to go for Vancouverites. Be a tourist in your own city. Enjoy!