Marching Along

DRINK This – Marching along

March. March! I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been so focused on Vancouver Wine Fest, or last weekend’s impromptu snowfall, but I was shocked to be flipping my calendar over to March this week. Spring is around the corner, though the cherry blossoms are already peeking out in sunnier pockets of Victoria. I can barely wait until spring’s warmth draws more aromatic whites and fresh roses into my glass, coupled with the new 2013 vintage hitting the shelves. Until then, I’ll enjoy a slight lull in activity post-Wine Fest week, transcribe notes on of the dozens of wines tasted and think about drinking these star bright wines (and a crystal clear vodka) on a sunny day. I’m already looking forward to Wine Fest 2015 and the theme region of Australia – Regional Discovery!



Tinhorn Creek
Pinot Gris 2013
Okanagan Valley, BC

Celebrating their 20th vintage this year, Tinhorn Creek Winemaker and CEO Sandra Oldfield is hosting 20 special events in 2014 in celebration. You needn’t wait for a special occasion to pour this sunny Pinot Gris in your glass though. The first of the 2013 BC vintage I’ve tasted, and a highly promising first sip at that. Pear and ripe pink grapefruit on the nose, with heady perfume and tropical spiced overtones. The medium and creamy palate shows more ripe pear, along with mild honey, tropical blossoms and stony spice. 100% stainless steel ferment and aging preserve the fresh orchard fruit, while 2 months of lees stirring amps up the creaminess. The pinot gris vines are now in their 19th year, and this wine is always a consistent pour from Tinhorn’s sustainably harvested Black Sage and Golden Mile fruit. The 2013 vintage is stronger than ever. Pear with grilled pork or halibut. 89 points.


moreauCellar Dweller

Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils
Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons Cuvee Guy Moreau 2011
Chablis, Burgundy, France
$45 +116855

This is what you pour for people who profess hatred for Chardonnay. Or France. Or wine, for that matter. This comes from a 0.8 hectare plot  in the heart of the Vaillons vineyard, located on the left bank of the Serein and basking in its south-east exposure. The vines were planted in 1933 by Christian’s father, Guy, and this special wine was named in his honour. The old vines are vinified in aged in 60% stainless steel and 40%  1,2 and 3 year old barrels. After 6 months in wood, the wine is united again in stainless steel to knit, which these 1er Cru vines have done stunningly, and if you aren’t experienced with oaked Chablis, here is your introduction. Fresh citrus and juicy lemon with ample spiced shell minerality on the nose, carrying through to the ripe and concentrated palate. Green apple, oyster shell, lemon pith lay overtop of a textured white peach base, finishing with a lingering seashell spice. I very much enjoyed this recently with seared scallop and sunchoke puree, but you can cellar for 3-5 more years easily and will be rewarded for it. 91 points.



M. Chapoutier
Les Vignes Bila-Haut Blanc 2012
Côtes du Roussillon, Roussillon, France
$15.99  +175042

Ok, ok. So this is technically $0.99 over my $15 limit for the Budgeteer pick, but until the end of March this wine is on sale at BCLS for $14.99, so I made an exception. Plus, this is such insane value, and a wine that I return to and refer to more than most. This bright, juicy, mineral-marked wine is made in with the same terroir-respectful, biodynamic practices that are the hallmark of Michel Chapoutier’s numerous 100-point wines in the Northern Rhone. Here, in warm southern France, he has found stony soiled terraces with black and brown schist, gneiss, limestone and chalk. The blanc is a seemless blend of grenache blanc, grenache gris and macabeu, with pure citrus, quince and pear focus, and scented herb, mineral and apricot spiciness on the medium bodied palate. Lovely juicy lime and herbal white grapefruit on the finish, this would make a fine pair for mussels or white fleshed fish. 89 points.


ferrari carnanoAdventurer

Ferrari Carano
Fumé Blanc 2011
Sonoma County, California, USA
$26  +354993

What’s that? An oaked Sauvignon Blanc from California makes the Adventurer section? Yup – thanks to Matt Stamp MS for reminding me about these full bodied, powerful white wines that are so often overlooked in the never-ending race towards what’s new. “Sommeliers are drawn to esoterica like moths to a flame” recognized Stamp smartly. So let’s revisit this well made example of a classic. Light ash, toast and red apple aromas lead to a round and full bodied palate with white honey, baked lemon, pear and gooseberry. Fresh melon on the finish, and lemony acidity keep this wine buoyant, and a herbal, anise-medicinal note on the finish keeps it edgy. This ripe and creamy oaked white will equally suit white fish as it will white meats. I recommend poached lobster in lemon cream sauce. 89 points.


rsz_eastvanvodka1No Wineos

Odd Society Spirits
East Van Vodka
Vancouver, BC

—A Tribute to East Van
For the makers and doers, the dreamers and inventors. For the artists and artisans, the hardworking and the inspired. This spirit is for the odd ones. It’s for the proud and the quirky, the charming and misunderstood.

This new artisan vodka certainly is charming and it should be proud, for it’s delicious. And hopefully it won’t be misunderstood as just another high-octane, flavourless vodka. There is no neutral spirit here at the Odd Society, but rather a lightly fragrant floral, silky, creamy and contemplative spirit. Yes – a sipping vodka! Qualifying under the new BC Craft Distillery designation, East Van Vodka is made from 100% malted barley grown in Prince George and malted in Armstrong, twice distilled in a small batch Holstein copper pot still and then charcoal filtered and proudly blended with purified Vancouver tap water. New to the scene and limited in production, you can sample the Odd Society’s family of spirits in their newly opened Tasting Lounge or purchase a bottle to take home to enjoy at your leisure.


DRINK This. Each week Treve highlights 5 timely and tasty picks. Her weekly choices include Locavore (BC wines), Cellar Dweller (wines to lay down for a while for maximum enjoyment), Budgeteer (wallet-friendly bottles under $15), Adventurer (wines for geeks, enlightening or pushing the envelope) and No Wineos (a non-wine pro-alcoholic beverage). So what are you waiting for? DRINK This!


DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. The price is suggested retail price, and may fluctuate depending on source. Wines are scored out of 100 points.



Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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