Tuesday, February 27, 2007

They Love me in the Old Country

It's a well-known fact that the Irish are mad for wine made in B.C. Here's a demonstration of that feeling. There's a standing offer of a bottle of wine for the best picture of the week featuring the Wine & Vine BC URL. Extra points for tasteful displays of female skin, of course.
This one was taken in a bottle shop in Belfast, I believe.

James, you can pick your bottle up in person.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Work in a Winery

This is your last chance to work at a winery, newbie.
As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be hiring a passionate, driven zealot for a short-term experience at Township 7 this spring.
If you or someone you know finds this interesting please don't hesitate to drop me a line now.
I make my decision tomorrow afternoon at beer o'clock.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Biodynamic Approach in the Vineyard

It's no secret that in the world of wine the biodynamic approach to growing grapes is enjoying considerable attention. More vineyards and wineries are experimenting and adopting this way of harmonizing their production with the cycles of nature.

Today I had the opportunity to attend a biodynamic panel tasting presented by the Trialto Wine Group. Not only were there representatives from the presenters but also each winery sent one of their top people to answer questions and present individual wines. In most cases, it was the winemakers themselves.

While I usually don't do wine reviews I think a few notes about what we tasted will help illustrate what was being presented. None of these wines are from BC so that makes yet another departure from the blog theme. Let's just let that go for today.
Domaine Ostertag Heissenberg Riesling 2004 -
Baked pear and raisin with some petrol notes in the nose. Excellent tree fruit expressions in the palate with good acidity and lingering finish. Definitive Riesling.
Nicolas Joly, "Clos de la Coulee de Serrant" 2005
The nose was all baked fruit and pastry and slightly oxidised. Somewhat attractive when coupled with rich flavours of papaya, ripe apple and perfect balance of acid and residual sugar.
Chenin Blanc is the grape.
Domaine de la Soufrandiere, Pouilly-Vinzelles "Les Quarts" 2005
A vibrant nose of spice and flint. Minerally tones and balanced use of oak in the mouth. The acid is right on, the finish is long. A delicious wine.
Domain Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint Georges- 1er Cru "les Saint Georges" 2004
Opens with clove, dusty raspberries, pepper and cardamon in the nose. The flavours of cane berries are balanced against minerally/earth notes. Some austerity as this wine just begins to age. Great tannin structure. Would love to taste again in a year or two.
Felton Road, Pinot Noir Central Otago 2005
A perfume nose with plenty of rose and blackberry. I wrote rose twice in my scribblings. Tremendous fruit driven palate of rich raspberry and dark cherry. Slightly drying.
A good example of why New Zealand Pinots are rocking the wine world.
Paul Dolan, "Deep Red" Mendocino 2004
Raspberry, blackberry, violet and white pepper. A bold structured palate with big fruit, good oak integration and tannins suggesting a long life. Didn't get the exact make-up but Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah in the bottle.
Benziger "Tribute", Sonoma Mountain Estate 2003
The primary constituent of Cabernet Sauvignon makes for the tell tale briarberry notes with leather and tobacco in the wings. The flavours are rich and sinewy, lots of blackberry and tons of structure.
All the wines were produced using natural yeasts found in the vineyards and wineries. In rare cases when there is an anticipated weak natural yeast population, some winemakers said they would use the commercially prepared product. I hazard to guess that 95% of the wine produced in BC would be using commercial yeasts.
If you do the research on biodynamic vineyards and can't quite decide to do it or not, consider this:
The least expensive wine in this group retails for $49.55 per bottle. The top one was $123.00.
Two others joined the top item in the $100.00 plus category.
A quick primer on the biodynamic approach to all things grape can be had here

Friday, February 16, 2007

Township 7: Help Wanted

I'm offering a short-term entry level wine job this spring at Township 7 Okanagan.
The job will run from March 19 to April 27. There will be a minimum of 25 hours a week; most likely much more. The job will entail working in the cellar and vineyard in a variety of functions.
This is an excellent chance for someone who is thinking about getting in the business but is unsure of the long term commitment.
Must be physically fit, able to lift 16 kg. repetitively and not afraid to get cold, wet and dirty on occasion.
We will train; experience not required but a demonstrated lust for all things wine and an energetic approach to the task at hand will be an asset.
It would be helpful if you like beer.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wine Blog Awards Last Day!

Sometime Friday the 16th the voting will come to an end for the American Wine BLOG Awards.

There are several categories and this blog wasn't nominated.

But go vote anyway.

  1. you don't have to be an American to vote.

  2. there's no write in to vote for this blog if you wanted to. You can vote for me by commenting on this post.

  3. the awards ceremony will probably be a huge affair - get your tux rented now!

Check out the nominees. There's some excellent writing to be found.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Riesling is Back

I've always enjoyed Riesling. I cut my wine teeth on cheap imported German wine like Black Tower and Blue Nun (could be Austrian) and various Liebfraumilch.
For a while, the thought of an often off-dry, low-alcohol wine being the supreme expression of white wine was difficult to comprehend. But there are places where Riesling is the king and Chardonnay is just another grape. Now, Riesling is poised to retake some lost supremacy.
Read about it here . . .

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wine Tasting Reminder

Just a quick reminder to locals . . . if you're in Penticton on Saturday drop by the Wine Information Centre between 1 - 3 and I'll pour you a few samples of Township 7 wine.
Merlot, Chard and a couple rarities.
I'll be telling jokes and autographing body parts as usual.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kim Crawford 2007 Vintage Adds Value

If you read this blog once in awhile you may recall my mentions of Scott Robinson. He's the assistant at Township 7 that I depend on for his stellar performance in the cellar and vineyard.

He has accepted a great opportunity to head down to New Zealand in a few weeks to help the Kim Crawford crew put together their 2007 crush.

Speaking from experience, I know he'll have a good time and learn a lot of wine making from one of the international stars of the New Zealand wine universe.

It's a huge opportunity and we all wish him the best. We also envy his ability to depart from our late winter/early spring and straight into late summer/ early fall.

Doing It Right On the West Coast

When I talk to visitors to the Okanagan Valley, I find a lot of them are moving on to other parts of BC to cram in as much experience as they can.
Outside of wine country, one of the top destinations seems to be the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Specifically, Uclulet, Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park.
To get the best out a trip to the coast, I'd recommend calling or emailing my friend Susan Jones out that way. She runs At Your Service, a concierge business for anyone who wants things done right during their visit. Her resources must be unfathomably deep because she seems to pull off the toughest assignments with the greastest of ease.
Planes, trains, boats, automobiles, fishing, surfing, whales, eating, beaches, accommodation, babysitting, groceries and everyting else; she does it.
She likes wine, too!
She's also a remarkable photographer. Her photos are here.