Tasting Note: Two viogniers from the North

If you’ve had wines made from the viognier grape, there is a very good chance that they came from warm, if not hot climates, and exploded with aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, over a rich, luscious mouthfeel. Acidity, crispness, freshness? Not so much.

Yet there is another way to make viognier. A more northerly way, like the direction pointed to by Peay Vineyards, one of my favorite vineyards, who make a tiny bit of it in their cool Sonoma Coast vineyards. Syrah is picked as late as the last week of October, at the Peay vineyards, and without the high sugar and high alcohol that you normally see in California syrah.

What would be the perfect place to test the possibilities of cool-climate viognier? Canada, I would say.

Case in point, (more…)

Tasting Note: Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Sumac Ridge

I’m getting a kind of crash course refresher on Canadian wine these days. I’m working on a story for En Route magazine that will try to give a sense of just how diverse Canadian wine has grown in recent years, as new wineries constantly come online and previously little-known regions come to the fore.  Great fun, as I touch on wines from Coast to Coast, from the sparklers of Nova Scotia to the reds of British Columbia.

Along the way, one of the people I got to talk to is Leanne Clemens Froese, from Coletta&  Associates, who does PR for Vincor out of Vancouver. Along with samples of one of the vineyards featured in the piece, she also sent other “goodies” my way. Clever girl.

I have to say I’m very grateful (more…)