Most people know I’m from Vancouver. And when I moved to the United States 26 years ago – I have to be frank – BC wine was not awesome. Sure, some brands, varieties and vintages had their moments. But would I go out of my way to buy a bottle? No. Fast-forward to today, and that’s exactly what I’m doing: crossing the border to buy some awesome BC wine. Read on for details.
“Vars & Sundry” is an old wire service term that refers to various and sundry news stories that don’t necessarily fit in with other stories. So it seemed a fitting title for this blog post, which is about a number of wine samples that were sent to us from different wineries. They come from Washington state, of course, British Columbia, California and New Zealand.
L’Ecole No. 41 2008 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Regular readers know that L’Ecole 41 is one of our favorite wineries in Washington state, and this rich, layered Cab Sauv exemplifies why. This is a classic — 100% Cabernet Sauvignon blended from several premium vineyards into one fine juice, sip after sip.
This robust red is showcased beautifully by the new elegant label unveiled by L’Ecole 41 earlier this year. If you missedabout the new label, be sure to read it – and you’ll understand how this wonderful Walla Walla winery has grown from a small family-run favorite to one known as an enduring, sophisticated creator of quality wine. ($29)
Gnekow Family Winery 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel Reserve, Lodi: Located about an hour from Napa Valley, Gnekow prides itself on producing wines that showcase the grapes from the region. This 05 Zin is drinking nicely, a mellow but jammy wine with structure and the complexity that comes from old vines. ($25)
Mission Hill Five Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Merlot Bin 88: This beautiful winery in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia is a pioneer in Canada’s wine industry. This is a medium-bodied, everyday wine that could be paired nicely with any red meat dish. ($17)
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010: We loved this refreshing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with prawns on the deck during the warm weather. Bursting with grapefruit and citrus flavors, we were not surprised to discover it won gold at the International Wine Show in 2010. ($14)
Thanks for the samples! Cheers!