Musings from the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival

I made my annual pilgrimage to the VIWF last night and came away as impressed as usual by the event. It is a tremendous opportunity for “winos” of all stages to enjoy an incredible range of wines — all for $80!

Here are some specific thoughts and comments on this year’s festival:

1) Separation of the room into “International, Argentina and New Zealand” (the latter two this year’s theme) worked well. Lots of space, too, give use of new convention centre

2) BC wine highlights were the 2007 Coyote Bowl Cabernet Sauvignon from Church and State (a gorgeous California Cab look alike with some serious structure for $35) and two Averill Creek Wines – the ’07 Pinot Noir (just a fabulous Burgundian style wine with ripe but not jammy fruit and great structure for $28) and the ’07 Pinot Gris (follow up to the award winning ’06 was stunningly ripe and fruity and only $18!)

3) What I bought:

  • ’07 Coyote Bowl Cabernet Sauvignon – Church & State (see above)
  • ’07 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – MacMurray Vineyards ($35): This California producer makes great value wines and this was one of them; tasted like a $50 – $60 wine, with great fruit/structure
  • ’07 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon – Chateau St. Michelle ($28): From Washington State, a great value Cabernet with very ripe cassis fruit and just a touch of oak
  • ’08 Uncut Shiraz – Gemtree Vineyards ($24): Mind-bogglingly ripe Shiraz, almost like blackberry liqueur with a streak of licorice through it; a 91+ point wine from Parker and I can see why!
  • ’09 Savigny-Les-Beaune Aux Petits Liards Vieille Vignes – Domaine Doudet ($40): Red Burgundy under $40 is unheard of, but this is amazing from a producer I have been following for years now.  Incredibly ripe Pinot fruit backed by some pretty powerful tannins; at least 10 years in the cellar for this baby!
  • ’07 Bramare Cabernet Sauvignon Lujan de Cuyo – Vina Cobos ($40): This is famous California vintner Paul Hobbs’ winery in Argentina, and all I could say was…wow!!! This literally tasted like the few $100 California cabs I have tasted in the past…unbelievable, and maybe the wine of the night!

4) Biggest disappointment: the ’07 Gigondas le Gille by Perrin (the makers of Chateau de Beaucastel) was already sold out by the time the event started!!! At $34.95 and rated 92+ by Parker, this was the killer value of the night…I tasted it with the proprietor and it is so ripe and approachable, but capable of aging. Rats!!!!

That’s it for now, but stay tuned….I am going to an event on Saturday that will feature the ’07 Chateau de Beaucastel Hommage de Jacques Perrin.  This legendary, cult Chateauneuf du Pape is over $300 a bottle and this year earned a 100 point, perfect score from Parker…I will blog on that on Sunday!



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