Kanazawa Wines, out of Oliver, BC, released their first vintage in 2010 with only a red and sparkling wine. In a mere two vintages since then, Richard Kanazawa has grown his wine label to include a blended white (Nomu) and also a fantastic dessert wine called “Diamond Flower” made from 100% late harvest Pinot Blanc.
I first met Richard while he was doing a pouring at Broadway Wine Shop in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. He was pouring everything but the sparkling, and so I had the amazing opportunity to give his wines a taste. Richard worked at a number of BC wineries prior to starting his own label including Domaine de Chaberton, Blasted Church, and Red Rooster. Having learned this tidbit of information, I knew that Richard’s wines were going to show a lot of potential. Richard also spent time in Australia, where he was on some personal adventures to increase his love of wine and winemaking. You can read more about his journey here.
I asked Richard what initially inspired him about making Nomu. His response:
When I worked in Australia, I had a hand in producing many styles of Viognier and Semillon. During my time there (Australia) I liked performing blending trials on the two varieties for fun. The result of blending Viognier and Semillon overseas inspired me to produce this blend for my own label.
A balanced blend of 70% Viognier (pronounced Vee-yon-YAY) and 30% Semillon (Sem-mee-YON), the 2011 Kanazawa Nomu has a most intriguing colour. It is the palest green straw colour I have ever seen, and it almost resembles water. I could get used to this water!
A light intensity and youthful wine, the Nomu is brimming with pear, Golden Delicious apple, daisies, and a hint of green grape on the nose. This dry, high acid wine has an interesting minerality on the palate of stone and chalk. Crisp apples, pear, chamomile, and white peach all provide an interesting combination of flavours to tickle your tastebuds. Due to its light bodied nature, this wine would pair perfectly with baby greens, mild cheeses & butter crisp crackers, sushi, or light fish. Spicy Thai dishes also make a good match for mainly Viognier-based wines.
As a side note, Viognier is one of the most difficult grapes to deal with. It is one of those heartbreak grapes, similar to Pinot Noir, that needs to have just the right amount of growing time. It cannot be picked too early nor too late. (Sauvignon Blanc is another cultivar that also acts in this fashion.) If this grape is picked too early, unripe and unfavourable flavours take hold, and if it is picked too late, the resulting wine will actually be dull and oily. Because Viognier prides itself on its intense perfume characteristics, being dull and oily are not good qualities to carry in the bottle. Now planted more widely around the world than ever before, this Rhone-originating varietal is likely to gain more and more respect as the wine world continues to evolve. Go ahead, try it out. Check out Kanazawa’s Nomu 2011 and see what beauty Viognier and Semillon has to offer your wine-loving heart.
Available at a large number of private liquor stores across the GVRD. Click here to find the closest store near you.