TWENTY-THIRTEEN was a fantastic year for trying new libations. It was like I had met Prince Charming…or something.
Last year I wrote “Demystified Vine’s 12 Most Memorable Wines of 2012”. This year, I added one. I know you can do the math though.
Working the entire year in a local & private Vancouver wine shop assisted me with this wine journey, but I am very lucky to say that I have friends who know my passion and invite me into their homes to try interesting wines, too. I’m a lucky gal.
As I’ve said in previous entries, I don’t believe in points systems, but I do believe in experience. As a result, the wines I will mention here today are in no particular order. Each wine pleasantly branded (no pun intended) itself into my memory, and when I was deriving my list, these were the 13 that I quickly listed. Then again, there’s only room for 13 on this self-marketed list. Fortunately, I’m an optimist; next year there will be an extra spot!
01. Caruso & Minini Terre Di Giumara Frappato Nerello Mascalese 2012
Disclaimer: I love strange and unknown varietals. Robert Stelmachuk (@wineunion) informed me that this was a “hug in a bottle”. He wasn’t lying. Bright, dark fruit notes (ie. blackcurrant), silky tannin, velvety chocolate notes, and good overall structure. I’ll take this hug anytime.
02. Clos du Soleil Signature 2010
From the up-and-coming Similkameen Valley region of British Columbia, this bold red will last until 2020 if cellared correctly. A Bordeaux-style blend made predominantly from Merlot, this graceful wine is abundant with cassis, blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, and soft vanilla notes. Lucky me; I have a magnum to enjoy one day.
03. Mezzacorona Teraldego Rotaliano 2009 Riserva
What are you looking for in a red wine? Red fruit? Black fruit? Earthiness? Spiciness? Good tannin structure? Good body and acid? Oh. Good. Try this wine. It’s only made in the very best years. I told you I liked trying wines that aren’t well known.
04. 8th Generation Pinot Meunier Rose 2012
One of the funkiest (in an unconventional and fashionable kind of way) roses of Canada, this Pinot Meunier-based beauty is full of tart fruits, earthiness, and zeal. It’s the kind of rose that confidently states, “I’m different, and I know you’ll be back.”
05. Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Aszu 3 puttonyos 2003
Yeah, so, picture this: honeyed pear, dried apricots, Sultana raisin, hints of stone fruit. The charm of this wine was alluring. I remember the silence in the room as my coworkers and myself sat around at a gathering and listened to what it was saying to us.
06. Cremaschi Furlotti Carmenere 2009
You can’t get more textbook Carmenere than this…except that this was exceptionally good Carmenere. I was disappointed that I didn’t put a few more bottles on hold; I sold cases of this stuff, and I turned people on to Carmenere. I’ll never forget this vintage. *shakes head*
07. Nichol Vineyards Cabernet Franc Syrah 2007
Interested in how well British Columbia red wine can be? You might not want to miss this. I’m tempted to use my Teraldego Rotaliano blurb again (see above). This wine’s characteristics are so well integrated that it could totally rival some of France’s beauties. It has a smooth sophistication about it that oozes fearlessness.
8. Proyecto Garnachas de Espana “Salvaje del Moncayo” 2011
A superb red based on old vines Grenache. It’s savory, full-flavoured, and respectable. A sheer medium-bodied winner at its price point for ~$24.00. A beautiful label to boot…but that’s not why I bought it. The entire wine industry was going a bit crazy for it when it arrived. I took a chance and won.
09. Torres Ibericos Crianza Rioja Tempranillo 2010
Bold. Complex. Silencing. Mysterious. That is all.
10. Remoissenet Pere & Fils Volnay 1er Cru 1978
Does this need a blurb?
11. Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine 2012
I’ve had a lot of sweet/dessert wines. I’ve had quite a few Icewines. Nothing has compared to this. Blown away by its complexity, this Icewine has poise, purity, and precision. When I’m getting into alliteration, you know it must be positively pleasing. Oh, and it got 100 points or something.
12. Silkscarf Viognier 2012
The best Viognier I have ever tried in BC thus far. If you think one can beat this, tell me.
13. Domaine Calot Morgon “Tete de Cuvee” 2011
Perfectly comforting on a cold night, this unobtrusive, smooth red paired perfectly with good conversation and charcuterie with winecountryBC at a local restaurant. He informed me that it was good. I trust his judgement, so I bought it. This Morgon was graceful.
If you have any questions about where to find some of these wines, leave me a comment.