There have been some significant changes to the Wine Fest this year, including a name change, so now we have the “Wine Show.”
The charity auction is gone, and the Wednesday tasting session as well. There are now five tasting sessions compressed into three days — three evening sessions, and afternoon sessions on Friday and Saturday.
Note that at the writing of this column, the evening sessions are already sold out!
In another change, the show will feature wines from Australia and New Zealand, in a manner similar to the “A Taste Of” series of wine events about specific regions or countries. About 100 of the 300 wines at the show will be from these two countries.
Pretty much all the remainder of the familiar features have been retained, including the tasting of 25 super-premium wines at the opening night session. The price of the event remains an excellent value when you consider the tasting possibilities, the bottle-with-purchase coupon, and the taxi voucher included in the fee. I was recently able to do a tasting session with wines in the $20 price range as a preview of the Wine Show. Here are my notes.
Louis Bouillot Perle de Nuit Cremant de Bougogne, France — Persistent and substantial mousse of very fine bubbles. Enticing sweet fruit and touch floral aroma from a blend of pinot noir and gamay grapes. Good acidity, and surprisingly pleasant — 15. Very Good.
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand — New Zealand Sauvigon Blanc often has exuberant green or vegetal notes to its aroma which some people really like, and others avoid. None of these three whites showed that strong characteristic, and in my opinion, showed more elegance and balance as a result. The Whitehaven had just a touch of grassiness to accent the citrus and tropical notes — 15.5. Very Good
The Peoples Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand — Beautiful tropical fruit aromas were the perfect complement to our pork dish roasted with a spicy mango dry rub. The wine brought out the fruit in the rub, and vice versa. A little more rich and full, and a touch softer. — 16. Very Good
Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand — Tropical fruit and lime citrus, good acidity, elegant — 15.5. Very Good
Marques de Riscal Limousin, Spain — Wonderful refined aroma with good aidity. Waxy, elegant, and mouth-filling — 16. Very Good
Fantinel Sant'Helena Friulano Collio, Italy — spicy, light floral, and stone fruit aromas. Light and sippable in the mouth, supported by fresh acidity — 15. Very Good
Stoneleigh Latitude Pinot Noir, New Zealand — Distinct cranberry fruit on the nose, a lighter touch showing elegance, lengthy finish — 15.5. Very Good
The Grinder Pinotage, South Africa — Rich, meaty, dark fruit and inky aromas, followed up with similar flavours. Quite well done and distinquished while that “pong” sometimes associated with South African reds is missing — 16. Very Good.
The Crusher Petite Sirah, California — Simply a huge wine with ink, cassis, and dark fruit aromas and flavours. Silky tannins and good finish — 16.5. Very Good
Rob Dolan True Colours Cab/Shiraz/Merlot, Australia – Beautiful red fruit on the nose, with the blend showing blueberry spiciness, smooth tannins, and long finish — 16. Very Good.
Steve Delaney is a member of the Opimian Society. Email him at email@example.com. Twitter: @delaneystephen.