Tag Archives: fruit

Terravista Fandango 2011

Terravista Fandango 2011

BC, $25
If I’m being painfully honest here, this week’s wine is exactly the type of wine that I’d normally breeze by—it’s a $25 Okanagan white with a “playful”label and a “fun” name. But there are a few reasons
I didn’t.

Firstly, my pal Kurtis Kolt said it was good. Secondly the varietals used—Albarino and Verdejo—are two of my faves from Spain and not only are they rarely grown in BC as far as I know, they’re rarely blended together—not just here, but anywhere in the world. Google “Albarino Verdejo blend“ and this wine is the only one that comes up. Thirdly, the wine comes from Senka and Bob Tenant, the duo who founded Black Hills winery back in the day and made Note Bene into what was once upon a time the West’s first cult wine. And I am much the richer for having tried it.

The wine addresses the number one complaint many have about albarino—it’s bracing acidity—by pairing it with the softer more fruit driven verdejo and the result is a wine that still retains a balance that skews towards food but can also stand alone as aperitif. A welcome break from the Okanagan’s endless march of Pinot Gris.

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Louis Jadot Combes Aux Jacques Beaujolais Villages 2010

Louis Jadot Combes Aux Jacques Beaujolais Villages 2010

France, $20

We’ve just finished a multi-page survey of all that is great in Burgundy (look for it in our June Issue) and this week’s selection riffs of that. Beaujolais—and in particular Cru Beaujolais that come from one of 10 designated areas—have been all the rage with sommeliers in the past few years.

But while there are some stars out there, sadly my experience is that given the high prices (often in the $40 range) they attract in Canada, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere—like two bottles of this exquisite bottle from Jadot.

It’s a category down from Cru, Beaujolais Villages, but who cares when you get this fresh, balanced wine with floral and
strawberry notes?

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Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Chile, $13

For the June issue, I was tasked by one of our editors to help her find a replacement for Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc, the super-popular, very well made wine from New Zealand. I came up with three (you=ll have to wait until June to find out which ones!) but this selection from Chile’s Santa Carolina could just have easily been on
the list.

It comes from the cool Leyda Valley, which sits just off the Pacific and is really making a name for itself in their world of sauvignon blanc. Expect a roundish sack of vanilla, grapefruit and some grassy notes. It tastes like a wine twice its price, and has very little in common with the Chilean sauvignon blancs from the Casablanca Valley which, though only a few dollars cheaper, tend toward one-note flavor profiles.

I’ve had a soft spot for Santa Carolina since I worked in Edmonton’s The Wine Cellar in the early 90’s—we sold cases and cases of their cab/merlot blend, bringing most customers their first taste of the wine juggernaut that is Chile. This sauvignon blanc only reinforces my faith in the brand.

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Joie Farm

Joie Farm

It was a big week for Naramata’s Joie Farm. They blew out the door at the Northwest Wine competition (for all the results see here), scooping a Double Gold (whatever the heck that means), 3 Golds, 5 Silver and 4 Bronzes. Seriously, that’s bit much—if proprietors Michael Dinn and Heidi Noble weren’t such good eggs, other vintners might get a little jealous. Their 2012 release is now widely available and they ship at no charge to all the major centres in Canada. And not to get too gushy, but it’s tough to choose just one the whites—the entire line-up is dynamite. But if pressed, I’m going for the Pinot Blanc, for a few reasons. Firstly, almost everyone else in the Okanagan (save for Blue Mountain) treats the grape like some sort of red-headed step-child choosing to lavish the love on the often-mediocre Pinot Gris. Secondly, they go full Alsace on this wine—they keep the alcohol low (12.5%), but still get a blast of fresh peach, pear and the bite of quince and a lush mouth feel that one doesn’t normally get with this grape. Thirdly, they price it on par with the Un-Oaked Chardonnay and Riesling—at Joie they actually do love all their babies equally.

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