Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tuesday, September 24 2019

From Posh to Streamlined to Bargains

By: DJ Kearney
Wines to drink all fall

This month, the GOW team attended a portfolio tasting at Trialto wines in Vancouver.

We tasted some wines and shot some videos of the winemakers, owners and representatives of the wines. DJ Kearney  summarises each of the wines featured and grouped them into three categories which we hope you find useful. ~AG 

Posh and Powerful

Sometimes we love wines for their sheer power and potency.  Power does not have to be overbearing or exhausting and can reveal itself in various ways. These four wines all possess intensely expressive aromas, such as rich scents of cassis and mint in the luxurious Revana Napa cabernet, or the heady floral perfume that graces Catena’s Historic Rows malbec.  Tinhorn Creek’s new flagship red is called The Creek, and it detonates with explosive dark fruit but manages to keep fresh and bright thanks to the South Okanagan’s desert-cooled nights.   Poplar Grove’s Bordeaux-styled red, The Legacy, won the Judgment of BC competition with the 2014 vintage, and this 2015 is even bigger and bolder.  Perhaps you need a robust red for the Thanksgiving turkey, or to take to a family dinner. We suggest this quartet of full-throttle reds that combine potent fruit and robust structure, they have upmarket price tags, and will not fail to impress.



Earthy and Streamlined

We think you will love this eclectic quintet of streamlined wines; they are understated, full of finesse and leave plenty of room for food. Brocard’s Montmains bursts with green apple, citrus and Chablis’ telltale underpinning of chalky minerality for an icy platter of fresh oysters. Just as lip-smackingly crisp is Coolshanagh chardonnay, alive with classic Okanagan tree fruits and sagebrush.  It’s lean and stylish, with sizzling acidity and a salty finish.  Selvapiana Chianti Rufina comes from the classic Tuscan hill country east of Florence. Farmed organically since the early 1990s, it exudes sangiovese flavours of cherries and plums, imbued with an extra freshness and floral perfume courtesy of Rufina’s higher altitude. Speaking of altitude, Luca malbec is the pet project of Laura Catena, one of the wine world's most dynamic and influential women. Laura manages to balance life as both the CEO of Catena winery in Argentina and the duties of an emergency room physician in San Francisco. Luca malbec comes from lofty vineyards in the Uco Valley and sports bright acidity and flavours that are more savoury than fruity.  A good steak and chimichurri sauce is in order.  Argentina’s famous green sauce is so easy to make and brings both wine and meat to life (google a recipe).

Under $30 and overdelivering

The two questions we wine critics at GOW are asked most often? What are the best wine deals out there; and what’s new and exciting?  Thirty bucks is not too much to take a flyer on a bottle, and if you try Yealands Estate Land Made sauvignon blanc, you’ll get a punchy, guava-scented glass of New Zealand’s signature grape. McManis Cabernet Sauvignon delivers textbook blackcurrant and chocolate flavours, plush and ripe courtesy of all that California sun and heat. It’s a satisfying, warming glass after a long day, as is Rasteau’s spicy/silky/stony grenache blend from the herb-scented south of France.  Diversity is wine’s greatest strength, and for the adventure seeker, a three-grape white blend from the Rioja region of Spain will tick that box. Izadi spins white grenache, malvasia and white tempranillo into a floral/botanical concoction that is as fascinating as it is delicious. Grillo is a little-known grape from Sicily, and Maccari’s vineyards are so close to the ocean, you’ll taste a little salt amongst the exotic citrus flavours. Pair with a proper Sicilian spiedini or caponata.

Written By:
DJ Kearney
DJ Kearney

DJ Kearney is a Vancouver-based wine educator, wine writer, judge, presenter and classically trained chef. She has trained hundreds of professional Sommeliers for the International Sommelier Guild during a decade as a non-stop travelling instructor throughout western North America. A diverse background in wine, food and geology makes DJ uniquely qualified to guide the discovery of the world’s wine regions, the understanding of terroir, the sharpening of palates, and the chemistry of food and wine harmony. She appears on radio and television regularly, moderates and presents at wine festivals throughout North America and judges several major wine competitions. DJ holds the WSET Diploma, the ISG Sommelier Diploma and is in the Master of Wine program as an exam-ready candidate.