As always, the Campbell River Daybreak Rotary Wine & Blues Fest was a huge success. If you were lucky enough to attend, you will have your own list of fabulous wine finds. If you didn’t manage to get there you owe it to yourself to track down one or two of these wonderful wines.
Our own BC grown wines surprised and captivated many of the wine lovers who attended. Slowly but surely, we are realizing how much our BC wines have improved over the last 20 years.
With a winery and vineyards in West Kelowna. Mt.Boucherie Estate Winery also sources grapes from their vineyards in the Similkameen Valley as well as the Golden Mile Bench, south of Oliver. New ownership in 2016 gave winemaker Jim Faulkner the green light to keep making great wine.
The second wine grape of the traditional white Bordeaux blend (…after Sauvignon Blanc) straight Semillon is rare elsewhere outside of Australia’s Hunter Valley. Winemakers ‘downunder’ craft their sturdy Semillons to age into honeyed, spicy complexities.
Built for the cellar, Mt Boucherie Semillon 2013 (110650) $15.99 is a mouth-filling white. Another year or two in the cellar will accentuate the honeyed pear and apple flavours that ride a sturdy base of chalky lemon and grapefruit. Hints of anise and fennel add intrigue to the finish.
The Côtes du Rhône regional appellation stretches 124 miles from Vienne to Avignon and covers six departments. Louis Bernard Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé (751446) $16.98 has a light strawberry hue with a peppery nose of earthy raspberry. Strawberry and pink grapefruit flavours.
Italy has a history of providing us with classic cocktails. The top three are the Aperol Spritz – made with Aperol and Prosecco, the Negroni – made with Campari and red vermouth and the Bellini – made with Prosecco and white peach juice.
An unbelievably delicious and fruity pre-made cocktail from Italy, Canella Bellini (113316) $18.29 marries two thirds sparkling wine with one third white peach juice and pulp from select, perfectly ripe peaches and a few drops of wild raspberry. The delicate white peaches are handpicked in the Veneto when fruit is perfectly ripe, to maximize concentration of sugar and aromas.
After a pre-dinner Italian cocktail, whisk your taste buds back to BC with a luscious and bright Cabernet Franc Rose or a seductively smooth Pinot Noir.
Hester Creek Estate Winery sits on the spectacular Golden Mile Bench of alluvial sand and gravel, and is located above the valley floor, which means they avoid vine-damaging frost in the early spring and late fall. Regardless of the variety, Hester Creek makes full bodied wines.
Fresh aromas of strawberry and rhubarb are followed by a palate loaded with bright berry flavours, crisp acidity, and a hint of white pepper on the finish in every sip of Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Rosé (776500) $18.99.
Cassini Pinot Noir (167007) $20.99 comes from grapes grown on the Osoyoos East Bench located above the Osoyoos Lake. It is a lighter bodied red with delicate aromas of cherry, anise vanilla and blackcurrant with a nice fruity red berry and toffee finish. Sweet on first sip, it is seductively smooth as it slips over the tongue.
California’s Zinfandel originated in Croatia. The Croatian name for Zinfandel is Crljenak (Tsir-le-a-nautz) Kastelanski (“black grape of Kastel”). Zinfandel is genetically identical to Primitivo which probably migrated from Croatia to Italy in the late 1700s.
Created in 1983, the 78,000 acre Dry Creek Valley appellation runs from Healdsburg north to Lake Sonoma, with its first plantings dating to 1870. Some ‘Old vines’ here can claim to be more than 100 years old. Today, more than two dozen different grape varieties grow in Dry Creek Valley but none is more widely planted than Zinfandel.
Redemption Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (709923) $19.99 offers aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum dark chocolate, black pepper, oak and vanilla. There are spicy flavors of black pepper, blueberry, black cherry and chocolate. As winemaker Kevin Hall says, “There is mouth filling texture with a long finish on this big wine”.
Proceeds raised from this non-profit charity fundraiser allow Daybreak Rotary to continue with its many charitable causes in the community. If you missed it last weekend, think about marking your calendar for next year’s Wine & Blues Fest!
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