This is one of the most delicious rosés I've ever tasted. Gosh, it's gorgeous. A blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Syrah from old, ungrafted high altitude vines in the Jumilla region of south eastern Spain.
Deep, rich strawberry and fresh cherry on the nose, with bare hints of sage and dry herbs. On the palate, very consistent with the nose -- dry, with both fresh and deep dried cherries and strawberries followed by a long savoury finish. There's minerality here too, hinting of mountain streams (this is always a quality that I fall in love with). Though it's very fresh, it doesn't have the fleeting quality of many fresh tasting wines. Complex and absolutely gorgeous.
If I had my wish, this is what I'd be drinking all spring. Glorious!
Edited to add: This superb wine will be at BC Liquor Stores by mid-April, and will be priced at $13.99. Bargain!!
On my commute this morning I ran into a polar bear:
The team was soliciting support for Save Winter, a climate change initiative. It was not, as I had originally thought when I first saw it, a mascot for BC's White Bear Wines.
It was quite an effective costume. It was made of mesh and was transparent if you looked closely enough. But the lightness of the costume lent a liquid quality to its movement which made it seem very bear-like. Every time I see a bear in the wild, I'm struck by the fluidity of its gait. Plus, because the people inside could see out the shoulders and sides, the head and neck could be bearishly low.
Here's a stellar BC pairing: Caprese pizza from East Van wood-fired pizza institution Lombardo's and Hester Creek Trebbiano.
The Trebbiano is not a solo sipping wine. It's strong-armed and styled for food. Very energetic and macho with lots of lemon zest and mango on the nose, and single note citrus on the plate. Yes, boring by itself, but a terrific complement to pizza, pasta, anything rich with olive oil and cheese.
This evening I had a couple of glasses of Sumac Ridge Tribute with winemaker Mark Wendenburg, and he shared with me his passion for the wine. This methode classique sparkler was harvested in 2007 and made especially to be released in conjunction with... something that's about to happen in Vancouver in a few days. Maybe you've heard of it? The Winter Olympics?
Okay, I'm being an idiot. I live in Vancouver, and we've been hearing of nothing BUT the Olympics since... well, it seems like forever now! I remember walking to work about ten years ago -- when I heard sudden honking from all the cars around, I thought, "Oh, my, I guess we won the Olympic bid."
Mark Wendenburg, Jason James, and their team at Sumac Ridge have been preparing for the release of this wine for a long time. And however people might feel about corporate involvement in the Olympics -- and yes, those Coke and MacDonalds ads drive me crazy too -- what it comes down to is this: Passionate people doing their best work, and trying their darndest to make something special to be part of this special event.
Tribute is a lovely, dry yet fruity Chardonnay-based sparkling wine with fine, persistent mousse and fine, compelling texture. Over an hour's conversation, Mark shared with me his long winemaking process. Because I am a nerd, I am more than interesting in the minutia. But to spare you, I'll just say that like all methode classique wines, it involves a hugely complex process from harvest, first fermentation, bottling, aging in bottle, hand riddling, disgorging, and dosage to capping, labeling and packaging. Each bottle is handled at least 42 times from start to finish.
$1.25 from the sale of each bottle goes to the Canadian Olympic team and the 2010 Olympic and the Paralympic Winter Games, which makes it the perfect beverage to toast the opening ceremonies!