Friday, September 24, 2010

BC VQA Fall Preview - Part 2

Part 2 of our coverage of the BC VQA Fall Preview trade tasting, "Colour". Back to Part 1

Painted Rock Estate Winery
The Skaha Bench winery, under the direction of proprietor John Skinner, is in a luxurious position to be in-demand for its current releases (mostly sold-out) and sitting on their next vintage. Will he release them early to accommodate demand or when they are deemed "ready"? I'm not sure if he even knows yet.

As a preview, he poured the 2008 vintage of their Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Icon, both recently bottled and awaiting a release date. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is nuanced and layered. Classic Cab aromas and flavours with a powerful presence on the palate. The 2008 Red Icon goes in a new direction away from the Cabernet Franc heavy 2007, with Merlot taking the lead and no Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. The result is a more familiar blend and one that will send your palate into a euphoric coma. You won't be sure how much time has passed. Wow. I can't wait to taste it again.

Look for future vertical releases of Painted Rock's flagship wine Red Icon as the winery is employing a new library strategy, holding back some cases of each vintage. Enjoying this wine, and its ever evolving and changing blend, in a vertical tasting will make for a fun experience.

Poplar Grove Winery
The soon to be released 2006 The Legacy ($50, 14.8%) follows on the heels of the excellent 2005 vintage, which is still available. The aging of this big red has been done for you at the winery and thus the wine is approachable upon release. Further development with cellaring will be minimal but its excellent tannic structure will allow a long window of enjoyment.

Road 13 Vineyards and Winery
Sadly, one of my favourite R13 wines, their 2008 Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne, has not returned and is being replaced by their new 2009 Viognier-Riesling-Sauvignon Blanc blend. A fine wine in its own right and well priced at $22.99. A blend of 61% Viognier, 30% Riesling and 9% Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp with big, juicy fruit flavours from the hot 2009 vintage. 13.9% alcohol.

Rollingdale Winery
Re-tasted their fabulous 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir which recently won a silver medal at the 2010 Wine Access awards and which seems to have been dropped in price to only $19.99! Buy a case.

Stag's Hollow Estate Winery
A few recent releases. Most will be available at your local VQA store.

2009 Con-Fusion ($17.00, 13.2%) a fun blend dominated by Gewurztraminer aromas and flavours with Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc also in the mix. I fear this wine may have been released a bit late in the Summer as it would be best paired with a sunny deck. However, Thai food is reportedly sold throughout the year.

2008 SHV Pinot Noir ($24.99, 13.8%) an easy-drinking Pinot that won't break the bank. Med tannins and body with high-ish acid and mild oak influence.

2008 Syrah ($27.99, 14.8%) a Cote Rotie inspired blend of Syrah and Viognier (91%-9%). Lots of aromatic perfume notes on the nose from the Viognier - just a schoch less would be perfect. Otherwise, an excellent Syrah full of big pepper and fruit flavours.

Tantalus Vineyards
The West Kelowna winery has 30 acres under vine on their 48 acre property and focuses on delivering estate grown Riesling, Pinot Noir and a recent addition to the line-up, sparkling wine. Thus far, the winery has only one vintage of sparkling wine, 2004, however, the tough growing season of 2010 may result in another as the traditional method employed by the winery calls for under-ripe, high acid grapes. My guess is they won't wait 6 years to release the next batch.

2004 Classic Cuvée ($24.90, 13.6%) a lovely nosed brut with Champagne-like leesy characters and crisp fruit flavours. A very well priced, fun wine.

2004 Riesling Méthode Traditionelle ($52.90 1.5L) a bit of an odd duck. Major petrol notes on the nose followed by very high acid on the palate with flavours of citrus and lees. Only available in magnum size.

2009 Riesling ($22.90) warmer and more intensely fruity on the nose and palate than the 2008 vintage. Strong minerality and acid keeps the wine balanced. An excellent Riesling.

2008 Pinot Noir ($29.90) the cooler 2008 vintage produces a more austere wine than the excellent 2007 vintage. One of the better terroir-driven Pinots in the Province.

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