Three reds to enjoy at the Vancouver Wine Festival

One of the perks of writing about wine is being invited to wonderful wine tastings. I’ve recently tasted some of this year’s delightful wines that you can taste when you attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival opening Feb. 24.

Spain is in the spotlight this year and one Spanish wine you should sample at the tasting room is the 2012 Cellars Baronia CIMS del Montsant ($14.99). Wine Spectator rates it 90 points, a first class score.

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But the proof is in the pudding and the CIMS delivers. A Mediterranean blend of Garnacha and Carignan, the wine is from the Montsant region of Spain near Barcelona. 

Expect a complex bouquet of blackberry, licorice, with hints of rosemary and thyme. The flavour is rich with brambles, barbecued meat, earthiness, spice, all balanced with medium tannins and crispness keeping it lively.

This would be perfect with paella, steak and frites, or merguez lamb sausage with cumin and harissa. You can enjoy the CIMS in the tasting room at the festival. It’s also available at all Richmond BC Liquor Stores.

Another delicious red at the festival is the Casale del Giglio 2014 Tempranijo from Lazio, near Rome. Winemaker Paolo Tiefenthaler is earning a reputation for making Italian wines from international grapes normally grown in France and Spain.

With this red, he has used Tempranillo, Spain’s premium grape variety. At a tasting with dozens of world-class wines, Casale del Giglio stood out as a delicious smooth and balanced red. The winemaker describes it having “long aging potential, elegance, and expression of its territory.”

If you are attending the “Great Red Grapes” seminar on March 1, you will be able to enjoy this Italian Tempranillo. Who knew they grew Tempranillo in Italy? 

Another pleasant surprise in store for you if you are attending the Sunday Vintner’s Brunch is the Sulva 2010 Sur ($46). It’s a Bordeaux 50/34/14/2 blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The vineyards are on the coast at Gallipoli, famous for Churchill’s World War One debacle that Australians and New Zealanders observe on Anzac Day. 

Along with scents and flavours of cherries, blackberries, prunes, tobacco, licorice and oak, the Sur has the barnyard terroir I love in French wines. Very tasty! Despite the fact it’s from Turkey, it’s probably better with beef. Available at Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie.

Just remember that if you like a particular wine, you can buy it at the festival liquor store and they will deliver it to your local BCL at no charge.

Eric Hanson is a Richmond wine educator.

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