How to Win a Wine Festival Tasting

February 27, 2014

Tickets are mostly sold out for the rest of the festival's events, but still available for the Grand Tasting Room's public sessions, with slots still available for tonight and tomorrow (from 7 to 10 pm) and Saturday from 2 to 5 pm, and 7 to 10 pm.

While you're there, don't miss our 2014 Vancouver Magazine International Wine Festival winners. Stop by, have a taste, grab a free magazine, and say hi to our staffers and chief judge DJ Kearney, who is teaching all about bubbly at the booth next door!

 

FRANCE

This great wine power is the theme region, so visit the heart of the tasting room first

1. Château de Sancerre Rouge 2011 ($37.99)
Not all Sancerre is white! This is pinot noir grown in the Loire Valley, and while sauvignon blanc is far more prolific, pinot loves the same limestone terroir.

2. Brotte Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Barville Blanc Roussanne 2012 ($39.99)
Exotic, waxy, chamomile-scented roussanne makes a brilliant savoury food wine.

3. Famille Perrin Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2012 ($92)
Superlative, utterly individual red blend uses all 13 grapes allowed in the hallowed ground of the southern Rhone Valley's Châteauneuf-du-Pape

4. Gerard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet la Clape la Reserve 2011 ($26.50)
Famed producer draws out syrah, grenache, and mourvèdre's high expression from distinct limestone terroir that was an island in Roman times.

5. Vignobles Brumont Montus Red 2007 ($36.99)
Wonderful tannat grape from the historic southwest where wine was famous long before those of Bordeaux

 

GLOBAL FOCUS

Sparkling wine highlights

1. Taittinger Nocturne Rosé Disco n/v ($90)
Charming and suave Clovis Taittinger may be on hand to pour you a taste of this refined and elegant pinot noir rosé champagne.

2. Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle n/v ($199)
Everything is remarkable about this Champagne: the bottle, the story, the blend, the finesse…

3. Thiénot Vintage 2005 ($74.99)
By law vintage champagnes must age for at least three years in the bottle before disgorging and release, and should only be made in exceptional years.

4. Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Perle d'Aurore n/v ($25.99)
This charming sparkler made in the champagne method has been a winner in our competition many times, including 2014.

5. Pfaffenheim Crémant Rosé n/v ($24.99)
There's a great tradition of fizz from sunny Alsace.

6. Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2007 ($39.99)
Considered to be one of the very best fizzy, dry shiraz sparkling wines from Oz-sensational with a minty lamb kebab.

7. Blue Mountain Brut Rosé R.D. 2009 ($32.90)
Beloved for its pinots noir, gris, and blanc, Blue Mountain produces sparkling wines of astonishing quality.

8. Giusti Prosecco D.O.C Brut n/v ($25.99)
Meet Canadian Joe Giusti behind the table pouring bubble from his homeland of Treviso.

9. MASI Conte Federico n/v ($35.99)
Synonymous with top Valpolicella and Amarone, have a sip of this pinot/chard Brut from Masi.

10. Artisan SakeMaker at Granville Island Osake Junmai Sparkling Sake 2103 ($23.90)
From local hero Masa Shiroki try this unusual sparkling sake and think about local shellfish pairings.

11. Graham Beck Brut Rose n/v ($24.99)
In South Africa's winelands, sparkling wines made in the champagne method are referred to as Cap Classique in the Cape (or CC for short) and typically use pinot noir, chardonnay, or chenin blanc.

12. Segura Viudas Heredad Reserva Rosé n/v ($35.99)
Beautiful wild strawberry and brioche aromas and flavours from this classy Spanish cava are not to be missed.

 

ITALY

1. Fontanafredda Barolo di Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2009 ($44.99)
Fragrant and pure, this is an old estate with lovely, lyrical wines.

2. Tenuta Sette Ponti 'Oreno' IGT Toscana 2011 ($85)
Inhale the perfume of this big brother to our best Medium Red, Crognolo. Also a super-Tuscan, it is a handsome blend merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot.

3. Tenuta Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore 2010 ($93.99) See why the wines of Argentiera from Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast are so collectible and age-worthy.

 

ARGENTINA

1. Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Reserva 2011 ($33.99)
Authentic and cutting-edge malbec made with the help of Alberto Antonini, world-famous consultant who is also raising the bar in B.C. at Okanagan Crush Pad.

2. Decero Petit Verdot Remolinos Vineyard 2011 ($39.99)
Exciting, spicy, single vineyard petit verdot is a stunner for asado or the best empanada money can buy.

3. Dominio del Plata Crios Torrontes 2011 ($15.99)
Orange Creamsicle in a glass with a fresh and dry limey finish.

 

AUSTRALIA

1. Peter Lehmann VSV (Very Special Vineyards) 1885 Shiraz 2010 ($59.99)
Sumptuous red wine from the passionate house of Peter Lehmann is a rare chance to taste tiny-production wine from some of the world's oldest shiraz vines.

2. Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2013 ($18)
A pioneer of perfumed viognier wines in Oz, family owned Yalumba makes some of the greatest value wines anywhere.

3. By Farr Farrside Pinot Noir 2011 ($86.99)
A chance to taste how remarkable the Geelong region (in Victoria, about 100 km southwest of Melbourne) is for Burgundy's great grape. Red loamy clay over limestone and a cool climate are part of the quality equation. Winemaker Nick Farr has sharpened his pinot skill in Oregon, California and at one of Burgundy's august estates, Domaine Dujac.

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA

There are 26 wineries on show in the tasting room. Here are a few highlights.

1. Averill Creek
From Vancouver Island, this little estate is making quality waves with pinot noir in particular.

2. Haywire
This progressive lineup showcases the skill of winemaker Mike Bartier and consultant Alberto Antonini-don't miss the stylish sparkler ‘The Bub' poured by family member Alison Scholefield.

3. Bench 1775
Try the entire range, and taste how superstar viticulturalist Val Tait is ratcheting up the quality.

4. Meyer Family Vineyards
Have a chat with dynamic JAK and Janice Meyer about their quest for pinot noir and chardonnay excellence.

5. Wayne Gretsky Okanagan
Check out the Icon 99 icon wine (it's $99, of course) and decide for yourself if it has the Great One's smooth moves.

6. Osoyoos Larose
Meet new winemaker Mathieu Mercier and taste a few vintages of this south Okanagan grand vin.

7. Unsworth Vineyards
New winery from Vancouver Island is getting rave reviews.

8. Stoneboat Vineyards
A gem of an estate on the Black Sage Bench, there is a lovely range of wines from aromatic whites to silky pinot noir.

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