Here’s the second part of our weekend-wine omnibus. We had the barbecue reds (and a few rosés) last week; these are the refreshing, light whites for Sunday brunch. Of course, any of the pinks from the last column will do good duty here. If there are any left. All the following are British Columbia wines; the wineries are always your best—and sometimes your only—bet.
Intrigue 10 2010 ($14.90)
From Roger Wong’s lake-country winery, a gorgeous blend (named after the vintage) of Riesling, Gewí¼rztraminer, and Muscat Canelli, yielding “high-toned floral aromas” (says the winemaker), so don’t serve it too cold. There’s also anise and spices, with a nice bit of sweetness and good acidity. Quiches or pastas with cream sauce will do it justice. The price is remarkable.
Stoneboat Chorus 2010 ($17.90)
Good thing they made 1,352 cases of this winner; I can see myself drinking several boxfuls. This time the blend is Pinot Blanc, Mí¼ller-Thurgau, Schí¶nberger, Kerner, Pinot Gris, and Viognier. Perfect balance, rich and fruity taste appeal, and great acidity. From its initial outing it took its place near the top of the white-blends list and stayed there.
Blasted Church Hatfield’s Fuse 2010 ($17.99)
A perennial summer favourite ever since the first vintage hit the market. Seven varietals went into the pot—Gewí¼rztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Ehrenfelser among them. Lots of citrus, lots of spice, and lots of body. They suggest halibut with mango mustard (going to try that this weekend) or ham-and-pineapple pizza. Of the 6,000 cases produced, fewer than 500 remain. Lots of luck after that.
Young & Wyse Amber 2010 ($19.90)
A superb new blend (named for the daughter of winemakers Stephen Wyse and Michelle Young) built mostly from Viognier, with Pinot Gris and a dash of Gewí¼rztraminer; tingly, tart, herby, and lively. There’s a big bite of green (but not underripe) fruit, a little gooseberry, some linden flower, and white currants. Another one for spiced fish or samosas, from appies right through to dessert.
Inniskillin Okanagan Marsanne-Roussanne 2008 ($19.99)
This one’s still vital and lively—leafy green, lime bright, and nicer than many French models. Marsanne is showing very well in Okanagan vineyards. The blend is delicious.
Petit Le Vieux Pin Feenie’s Blend Blanc 2010 ($20+)
The companion to last week’s red Feenie’s Blend, made for the chef and offered at Cactus Clubs throughout the Lower Mainland till they run out. A hearty and tasty fusion of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Chardonnay, to fit fusion food; aromatic and easy-drinking, with great aromas and floral touches at the front of the tongue. There’s something pleasantly edgy at the back palate. A success, so a repeat vintage is called for.
8th Generation Integrity 2010 ($22.50)
Another crown-capped frizzante-style wine in the tradition of the Summerland winery’s big hit of last year, which was all Chardonnay. Now the winemaker has added Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, in that order, to her total production of 533 cases. Crisp to the point of tart, whisper-quietly dry; what sweetness is there fades fast. Very good any way, especially with a plowman’s lunch.
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench White 2010 ($22.99)
Same blend as the previous vintage: nearly half Chardonnay, then Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Viognier, with one percent Muscat. Bright and spritzy, full and fruity all along the palate, with excellent fruit and a clean, lingering finish; some herby hints and a little lime. Consistently excellent year after year, and no exception this time. Sandra Oldfield calls it her “tribute to the top wines of each vintage”.
JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2010 ($23.90)
In just a few short years this has become one of B.C.’s favourite white blends. Restaurateurs of all stripes (including Vikram Vij, who has it in magnums) love to offer it to match their menus. The winemakers’ inspiration is Alsace’s hearty food-matching blend Edelzwicker; Joie’s recipe calls for Gewí¼rztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Auxerrois. Sweet and spicy, tart and fruity all at once. I don’t know how they do that but I’m sure glad they do.
Dunham & Froese Amicitia White 2009 ($24.90)
Organic and biodynamic methods are used throughout the growing and production (even to the point of special lightweight glass bottles). This is a rich and fragrant mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Viognier, nicely perfumed and versatile with food, but maybe best for on-its-own sipping. The four months spent resting on the lees add to the richness.
LFNG (Laughing Stock) Blind Trust White 2010 ($25)
Bright and lemony, with big, fresh garden herbs and luscious, ripe fruit. What grapes? You can peel back the foil covering the cork to find out. Another consistent performer from one of the Okanagan’s most innovative producers. My stocks should perform so well!
Clos de Soleil Capella 2009 ($26.90)
This one was made by winemaker Ann Sperling, between her numerous gigs on several continents, and is primarily Sauvignon Blanc, with five percent Sémillon added to mellow the often-found grassiness. Sperling made 375 cases and it may be sold out by now. For Sauvignon lovers who’ve had it with the New Zealand style especially.
Mistaken Identity Charmela Dessert Wine 2009 (375 millilitres for $21.90)
Something of a novelty to close for today, from Salt Spring Island. The name is a blend too, Char from Chardonnay and mela from the Italian for "apple". That’s right—this is a blend of organic Chardonnay grapes and “estate grown” apples. Curious, in a nice and fruity way, and definitely unusual. With desserts and cheeses. Available primarily at the winery.