Iconic BC Red Wine Tasting? Should be Pinot Noir, not Cabernet Sauvignon!

I have read a couple of times in the last while about “Iconic BC Red Wine” tastings. And all of them feature Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from the usual big wineries.

Well, I’m not against the concept. But let me show you why I think it should feature BC Pinot Noir instead (and who should be there).

The first reason has to do with how I define what an “iconic red wine” is. To some, it’s all about reputation, size and — seemingly — price. But that seems to leave out few key components, like style, value and quality.

All of these subjective qualifiers are, of course, relative to one’s own personal tastes. But when I look at them, I also see more than that.

For style, the so-called Cabernet ‘icons’ in BC go for Bordeaux – tannic, herbal and woody. Not much fruit there when young, or when the tannins subside either.

Value? Well, many of these wines are over $40 (with some well over that). Sorry, but that just doesn’t fly in my mind for BC wines.

And quality? That’s the most subjective one, of course. And it’s hard for me to objective given I don’t like this style much. But it seems to me that there is often so much tannin and wood, relative to the fruit, that the quality has to be questioned as well.

Because of all these factors, I don’t think you can really have a BC Iconic Red Wine tasting with Cabernets. Personally, I can only name one wine that fits the bill – La Frenz’s Grand Total Reserve!

But Pinot Noir – that’s a different story!

There are a number of very good to great Pinots being made in BC, and most wine dweebs like me agree on enough of them to hold this kind of tasting. My even would include:
* Kettle Valley Hayman Vineyard
* Kettle Valley Reserve
* Blue Mountain Stripe Label Reserve
* Eau Vivre
* Howling Bluff
* La Frenz Reserve
* NkMip Qwam Qmpt
* Averill Creek (regular bottling)

All of these wines meet the three criteria above – $40 or less, classic style (mostly Cali, although a couple of Burgundies in there), and undisputed quality. You could even throw in a few older vintages to reinforce this, as the Haymen and Blue Mountain develop beautifully over 5+ years.

I also know some of these were in the recent Pinot Noir festival tasting up in the Okanagan, so others must also agree with me!

So…who wants to put this on? I will MC it for free!!




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