Column: A taste of wines to come at Canada’s biggest wine festival

While the upcoming Vancouver International Wine Festival spotlights the wines of France, there are many other countries pouring their liquid assets too.

At the media preview of festival wines I attended earlier this month, I was delighted by Angove 2015 Warboys Vineyard Grenache. Angove is one of Australia’s largest family-owned wineries and the Warboys Vineyard is located in the scenic Mclaren Vale This region, just south of Adelaide is home to 100 wineries.

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This Grenache is an Australian Certified Organic Wine and is made from 30 year old vines fermented with the winery’s indigenous yeast. It’s an elegant red with a violet bouquet with cherries and thyme.  On the palate, there are red berries and cherries, subtle oak flavours with spice and a cranberry finish.

Both Wine Enthusiast Magazine and James Halliday’s 2018 Wine Companion gave it 93 points. The Angove Warboys Vineyard Grenache will be poured by Richard Angove, Managing Director of the winery at the PICA Kitchen Party on Februrary 29. 

Another tasting delight I discovered at the media preview was a Coronica 2015 Gran Teran from Croatia. Although I’ve heard many reports of the high quality of wines produced there, this is the first Croatian wine I’ve tried.

The Gran Teran is a juicy red wine that is only produced in vintage years where the conditions are right. It has herbal, spicy and tobacco aromas that are highlighted with a strong and pleasant bouquet of cherries, blueberries, and plums. On the palate it’s complex and rich with berries, leather, minerals and vanilla. Overall, there’s a medium-full body with smooth tannins and a lengthy finish. Worth a try!

Join winemaker and owner Moreno Coronica and enjoy an exotic taste of his 2015 Gran Teran at A Taste of Croatia on February 25 and The Global Cru on Saturday Februrary 29.

My third discovery at the media preview was a CedarCreek Estate 2016 Block 4 Platinum Pinot Noir. Made from 22-year-old vines in high elevation vineyards at East Kelowna, it’s one of the best Pinot Noirs in B.C. Fermented with native yeasts in concrete and stainless steel, the Block 4 is aged in French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

As a result, expect a silky smooth expressive red. Soft tannins, savoury herbs, earthy notes with cherry, raspberry, spice, and tobacco.

The CedarCreek Pinot Noir Block 4 will be featured at the Best of BC: Farm to Glass Seminar on February 26. On hand to talk about his wine will be Taylor Whelan, Cedar Creek’s Winemaker. Whelan has three decades of winemaking experience having worked in Niagara, Hawke’s Bay New Zealand, McLaren Vale South Australia, and Piper’s River, Tasmania. He became assistant winemaker in 2012 and was promoted to head winemaker in 2016. 

Ticket sales for The Vancouver Wine Festival have been brisk and popular events have been selling out. Check their website vanwinefest.ca for availablitily.

Eric Hanson is a life-long Richmond resident, retired teacher and wine educator.

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