Anyone can learn about wine from a book. Not everyone is lucky enough to live close to a wine region that grows many different grapes from around the wine world, and does so many of them so well. BC's diversity is its strength, so this series will help you learn about wine the best way we know how: by tasting.
You know your Sauvignon Blanc. You've worked your way through that New Zealand section at your local liquor store, from Stoneleigh, and Seven Terraces, to Astrolabe, Greywacke and Villa Maria. You know your Cloudy Bay from your Oyster Bay (you always tell your husband that's what it's called when he's the one at the store buying it), and you know enough to know that Kim Crawford is a man, and his wife Erika also makes Sauvignon Blanc with a great label, called Loveblock. You even have a teal patio cup from Matua that's now the only glass you drink wine from when on your sundeck.
You confidently proclaim the bouquet as 'cut grass, bell pepper, cat pee and gooseberries', although you live in a condo that doesn't allow pets and has no outdoor space, and the only gooseberry you've come across was tucked into a blob of whipped cream next to the (dried-out) chocolate cake at the awards banquet you were at last year...
Did you know there is so much more to Sauvignon Blanc? In BC, there's about 400 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, produced either as a single variety or as part of a blend (usually with Semillon). Grown from Kelowna to Osoyoos, and in the Similkameen Valley, Sauvignon Blanc ripens well, showcasing the grape's falvour range from citrus and grass to tropical notes of guava, passionfruit, white peach and grapefruit, all the while maintaining a refreshing acidity. Growers can choose to do one or several picks of the fruit during harvest to showcase the flavour spectrum of this aromatic grape.
These 6 bottles were selected to showcase the single varietal, its adeptness partnered with Semillon, and how some of the different terroirs contribute to flavour.
Hatch Wines Sauv Blanc
Grown in a little vineyard just northeast of Oliver, this has melons, nectarines, some grassiness and a bit of chalk, vaguely reminiscent of Sancerre.
Winemaker's CUT Sauv Blanc
From the South Okanagan, between Oliver and Osoyoos comes this crisp and textured Sauv Blanc, with ripe tropical fruit and yellow grapefruit.
Little Straw Winery Sauv Blanc
Grown in West Kelowna, this has tropical fruit balanced by zesty citrus.
Igneous Wines Sauv Blanc/Semillon
Grown in West Kelowna, this is a light and refreshing stainless steel blend with apricot, lime and a hint of grassiness.
Pentage Sauv Semillon
From the Naramata Bench, this blend of Sauv Blanc and Semillon shows summer stone fruit and a flinty minerality with pear and citrus. Refreshing!
Fairview Cellars Sauv Blanc/Semillon
Grown in Oliver, this is rich and tropical with citrus notes and a long finish. 30% of the wine fermented in oak, providing an excellent texture.