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Wine 101 – Explore Your Senses
2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival

I don’t confess to be a knowledgeable wine critic. In fact, I only confess to being a typical Asian girl who adores wines that are more fruit forward. So when I came across this seminar, I thought it would be interesting and would teach me how appreciate different varietals of wines.  Wine 101 was more than just an introduction to ten of of the world’s well-known wineries in five wine producing countries and seven regions featuring varietals ranging from the playful bubbles of Prosecco, smooth talking Malbec, crisp and lively rose wines of the Okanagan, classic Italian Chiantis, svelte and amorous Italian Amarones to the bold and beautiful Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Wine 101 offered the guests insights behind each winery.

Wine 101

Moderator: Paul Wagner
Panelists: Guillaume Blisson, Alessandra Boscaini, Antonella Bronca, Jean-Luc Colombo, Daniel Grace, Maya Jenkins, Jaime Merino, Cristiana Tiberio, Sara Triggs, Matteo Zonin

 

Zonin1821..
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Zonin1821 (Italy) – Matteo Zonin

It’s a story of how the little grape glera, which was once only consumed in Italy in Prosecco since the 1700s has become well-known in the wine world.  Matteo Zonin equates prosecco’s popularity to the fact that it’s easy to understand and it’s taste imparts pure pleasure.  Zonin1821 Prosecco Brut 1821 DOC NV is a DOC wine which the government certifies the designation of origin.  – Denominazione di Origine Controllata and is a wine made with glera grapes with lively small bubbles that go straight to the pleasure senses with its aromas of bright red raspberries and notes of pear, honey dew, and lime zest.

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Sorella Bronca..
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Sorelle Bronca (Italy) – Antonella Bronca

This is a story of women who wine – more specifically two sisters (Antonella and Ersiliana Bronca and Elisa, daughter of Ersiliana, who aspired to be great winemakers instead of great housekeepers (go sisters).  With the winery located on steep hills, one might say that the hills are alive with the sound of Prosecco bubbles. Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Particella 68 2018 is rated DOCG which the Italian government guarantees is of the utmost superior quality.   his Prosecco is drier and more complex than that of Zonin with acidity so lively that I swear it pinched me playfully on the cheek.  With aromas of lime peel and notes of lime and green apple, this Prosecco is perfect  for those who love dry refreshing wines.

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Culimina Winery..


Culmina Family Estate Winery (BC) – Sara Triggs

Culimina Family Estate Winery is one of the wine pioneers of B.C. who has boldly planted grapes on land where no man has ever planted grapes before.  Although Don Triggs had already mastered the art of producing quality wines as he is one of co-founders of Jackson-Triggs winery, which incidentally, started off as being Labatts’ winery. So through much trial and error, Culmina produces not only white wines so typical of BC wineries, but red wines which have been given much accolades.  At this seminar, we tasted the Saignée Rosé 2018 which is a rose wine which is made from Bordeaux-red varietal lots and has aromas of rose petals and minerals and notes of pink grapefruit and red currants with an elegant body and long crisp finish.

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TiberioTiberio (Italy) – Cristina Tiberio

This is a story of a brother and a sister who went up the hill to fetch a pail of water for their Monticulpo grapes as their dream was to bring traditional Italian wines to the world such as their award winning Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOP.  Located on the steep hills, you can’t have a fear of heights to work here. But beware, as seemingly calm as this little town is, there are horrific traffic jams where one might have to wait for the shepherd and his herd of sheep to cross the road.  The Tiberio Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2018 that we tried was a wine that I would describe as wanna be red or wanna be rose as it’s body had more structure than a rosé, yet not having enough body to be a red.  Needless to say, it was an interesting wine with aromas of strawberries and red currants and very pronounced dark cherry notes, licorice and rhubarb with a chewy consistency, with complex tannins. ///
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Il Milino do Grace..


Il Milino do Grace – Daniel Grace

One would think that the name “Grace” is Italian, being pronounced the same as the Italian word for “thank you”, but lo and behold, Il Milino do Grace is a story of a California man who did not go west, but went east to Italy to produce classic Italian wines.  But it took Daniel Grace 25 years, to learn the full potential of the soil in the area to “capture” the essence of his classic Chianti wines.   At the seminar, we tasted Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 which had aromas of black currants and tobacco and notes of black cherry, menthol and black currants.  This is a typical Chianti with a big body and big tannins, complex and alluring on the taste buds.

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Santa Ana Winery..


Vina Clos Santa Ana (Chile) – Jaime Merino

This is a story of an Italian man who also left his home country to cultivate the rich soils in Chile to produce his Carménère wine which is a lost varietal of Bordeaux which originated in France, but after 450 years, has now become associated with Chile.  The Viña Santa Ema Amplus ONE Carmenere 2017 which we tasted had aromas of blackberries and grass with notes of black currant, spice and a long finish.
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Pascual Toso..

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Pascual Toso (Argentina) – Maya Jenkins

This is a story of Pascual Toso who left his home of Piamonte, Italy in the mid 1880s to create a winery who is inspired from Tradition, Authenticity and Innovation and which is now one of the oldest winery in the Maipo region of Argentina. This winery likes to produce wines that create big statements, brimming full of big fruit and spice.  Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2016 is a typical typical Malbec with soft, silky tannins and plenty of ripe plums on the palate.







Jean-Luc Columbo..




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Vins Jean-Luc Columbo (Provence France) – Jean-Luc Columbo

This is a story about a man who grew bored of being a pharmacist and then decided to follow his passion of producing wine in a narrow vineyard which is only 200 acres.  This is a family business with his wife and daughter working with him and after 40 years, has become of France’s most renowned wineries.  Jean-Luc Colombo La Louvée Cornas Syrah 2016 is a big wine with aromas of tar and black plums and notes of black cherries and leather which is best served with steak.



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Louis BernardLouis Bernard (France) – Guillaume Blisson

Louis Bernard is well known for their Granache wine (which grapes are originally from Spain) and Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  The word “Chateauneuf-du-Pape” means new castle of the Pope as Pope Clement V, former Archbishop of Bordeaux, relocated the papacy to the town of Avignon in 1308 as he dud not want to cross the river to enter the city which the Pope deemed was a foul smelly place due to the fact that there was no indoor plumbing at that time. He loved Burgundy wines and thus went out of his way to promote them during his 70-year Avignon Papacy. The following John XXII, who succeeded Clement V, also did much to improve viticultural practices in this region and that is why the two keys on the bottle symbolize the Pope Clement V and John XXII. Also interesting to note is that the castle on the bottle symbolizes the castle that John XXII built.

Louis Bernard Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016, made from a blend of Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Mourvedre  grapes, is a wine that needs no introduction for a serious red wine drinker – it has aromas of blueberries and notes of passion fruit, chocolate and black berries.  It’s a wine that is a dark red, full-bodied wine with silky tannins and a long finish.


Masi Agricola..

Masi Agricola (Italy) – Luc Desroches

This is a story of the Boscaini family owned winery that has been around since 1772 when they bought vineyards in the valley called “Vaio dei Masi”, which is close to the countries of Austria and Germany, and whose Amarone wines make oenphiles’ swoon. Grapes are picked the first week of September and left on rack for a few months to dry which intensity the flavours and produce big and bold Amarones.  Personally, I don’t drink that many red wines anymore, but MASI is one wine producer that I’ve found never disappoints as they produce many red wines that have silky and softer tannins.  MASI Agricola Costasera Riserva Amarone 2013 – This full-bodied Amarone with silky tannins has aromas of violets, plums and ripe dark berries and notes of figs and black cherries. A must have if you’re a serious Amarone drinker.

Author

Dianne

Editor in Chief of Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver.

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