Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Winery Profile: Averill Creek Vineyard

Positioned on south-facing slopes at the base of Mt Prevost, the winery boasts 30+ acres of vines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Marechal Foch, and an early ripening Foch-Cabernet hybrid.

Proprietor Andy Johnston, a former private-practice MD from Edmonton, is often on hand to conduct the pouring in their modern tasting room with stunning views to Saanich Inlet. Based on his sincerity, professionalism and friendly demeanor, he was likely an MD with a long waiting list. In meeting him and discussing his winery's past and future I was reminded of the Richard Attenborough character from Jurassic Park with his white hair and beard, who “spared no expense” to bring his dream to fruition. Of course, Andy is neither delusional, nor fictional but his dream of operating a world-class winery has benefited from a similar do-it-right attitude.

Averill Creek's current releases:

2009 Gewürztraminer - $18
Tasted at the 2010 VIWF. Classic floral and spicy Gewurz aromas and lychee and tropical fruit flavours. Sumptuous texture in the mouth with a moderate, crisp finish - very refreshing.

2009 Pinot Grigio - $18
Tasted at the 2010 VIWF. Fermented in stainless steel, this is a great patio sipper - fresh and crisp. Flavours and aromas of bright orchard fruit - apples, pears and peaches. 2008 vintage may still be available at some VQA stores.

2008 Somenos Rose - $17
Tasted in person in 2009. A blend of Marechal Foch, Pinot Noir and Merlot, cold fermented. This wine has a nice balance of acidity to fruit flavours that would make for a lovely summer patio sipper. I wish I had discovered this Rosé earlier in the year.
Full Review

2007 Pinot Gris - $23
Tasted in person in 2009.This is a barrel-fermented cousin of the Grigio (from the same grapes) that has gone through a full maloactic fermentation which infuses butter and cream fruit flavours. Despite this calming of the acid application, the wine possesses enough residual acidity to balance the oak and fruit flavours, resulting in a special wine. A future gold-medal winner.
Full Review

2007 Pinot Noir - $28
Tasted in person in 2009. Johnston next poured his 2007 Pinot Noir, taking out proper Burgundy glasses for the tasting. I could tell this varietal was a labour of love for him and the Averill Creek product does show great promise. The winery uses the Stelvin enclosures on all its wines which ensures freshness and limits post-production flaws. It also slows the aging of a wine to a crawl and you can taste that with this Pinot Noir - it is very young. Given time this Pinot will open up and deliver.
Full Review

2007 Prevost - $22
Tasted in person in 2009. This is Averill Creek’s sly take on a Bordeaux-style blend using Marechal Foch, Merlot and a Foch-Cabernet Sauvignon hybrid. The Prevost has many of the characteristics of a new-world Meritage blend: dark-ruby colour, big berry and oak flavours.
Full Review

2008 Cowichan Black - $18
Tasted in person in 2009. The tasting was capped with a quality fruit desert wine made of 100% Vancouver Island-grown blackberries. Semi-sweet with a slight acidic finish and only 16% alcohol makes this a great pairing for vanilla ice-cream or enjoy on its own.
Full Review

Averill Creek Vineyard is a winery to watch. They have all the right ingredients to produce quality wines: a modern gravity-flow winery, up to date techniques and a distinct terroir. They also have something less tangible – a desire to be a world-class outfit. That’s nice to see. Look for Averill Creek at your local VQA stores and restaurants in BC, you won’t be disappointed.
 - Liam Carrier

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
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