British Columbia Critics’ Picks May 2016
Our monthly BC Critics’ Picks is the place to find recent recommendations from our intrepid and curious BC critics – wines that cross geographical boundaries, toe traditional style lines and may push limits – without being tied to price or distribution. All are currently available for sale in BC.
The warm spring air has us thinking of the outdoors this month, through both sports (DJ is partial to the French Open, I’m following Giro d’Italia), and cuisine (spot prawns aplenty). Not surprisingly, we’re reaching for the rosé, whites and fizz and while we may be keeping an eye on the screens, we’re doing it sitting in a sunbeam. Here’s a six pack of wines that excited DJ and me this past month.
Cheers ~ TR
Watching the French Open always makes me think of Rosé. Maybe it’s the terracotta-hued clay, maybe it’s the stylish croissant-munching crowd, or perhaps it’s the fact that France is home to a world of delicious, purposeful pinks.
My eye was first drawn to the handsome Art Nouveau label of Les Trois Provence Rosé 2015, and you are sure to admire the pure red berry fruit and tangy dry palate with grilled creamy spot prawns. For flavour harmony let a rosemary sprig sit in lemony aioli for half an hour then remove, and dunk in the prawns.
I tasted the 2015 Miraval Rosé a while ago in London, and it’s even more delicious and complete now. The excellent 2015 vintage brings extra fruit depth and finesse. Do deploy with a good meal like grilled whole fish with abundant herbs and lemon to match the citrusy freshness.
And finally a remarkable bubble. It’s entirely probable that Selosse is my favourite champagne house, and Vouette et Sorbée resonates the same way to me. Singular in the extreme, the 2011 Saignée de Sorbée is a profound expression of wine first, fizz second. I’ll sip it again during the French Open finals, with a mushroom and Brie omelette.
The savagely graceful Lock & Worth 2015 Cabernet Franc Rosé pours the very palest orange peach hue. Mostly whole cluster pressed, with four hours on the skins, this textured wine weaves ample salts through subtle wild strawberry on a slender, lifted palate. Four months in neutral oak before going into bottle unfined and unfiltered, this is savoury, salty and streamline; a dry rosé for adventurous sippers, and best when it warms up in the glass.
Pecorino is such a trendy grape that the amount of people producing “pecorino” outnumbers the number of hectares planted in Italy. Caveat emptor, folks. This is a mountain grape variety, suited to altitude and alpine environs like the men racing in the Giro d’Italia are facing. I salut their courage with a bottle of Colline Pescaresi Tiberio Pecorino 2014, with wild herbs, a riff of mint, flake salt and a sheen of light white honey on the creamy palate before brisk acidity propels quince and green fig to the finish.
Fizz fans like me can celebrate the return of this BC legend to our shelves. Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Natural Brut is back this spring, and the 2013 vintage is as sharp and pure as anticipated, with riesling from their 1978 block prized for its originality and rarity as much for its vibrant, mouth-watering acidity, minerality and verve.
WineAlign in BC
In addition to our monthly Critics’ Picks report, we also publish the popular shortlist 20 Under $20, as well as the Rhys Pender’s BC Wine Report, a look at all things in the BC Wine Industry. Rhys also added a bonus feature this month highlighting his latest European Wine Adventure. Lastly, Anthony Gismondi closes out the month with his Final Blend column – an expert insight into wine culture and trends, honed by more than 25 years experience as an influential critic.
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