Taste these! Wine picks for the 2012 Playhouse Wine Festival – Day 1

Source: http://playhousewinefest.com/

A tasting session at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival can be disorienting with all the countries and producers offering their latest wares. We know the feeling. For the 2012 edition, we’ve tried to focus on specific regions and wine styles each session we’ve attended, rather than let Bacchus wildly lead the way.

For our first event, we attended an evening called California Cruisin’ at the Canvas Lounge in Gastown. It was an interesting venue, and although a little difficult to taste in, the party atmosphere kept us going strong.

Here were our favorite wines from California Cruisin’. Look for them on the Tasting Room floor during the remainder of the Wine Festival sessions.

Folie à Deux 

Zinfandel, $29 (BCLDB) – big, brambly berry-fruit, balanced by oak and structure. Perfect for a steak.

Paul Hobbs

Chardonnay, $57 (BCLDB) – a tad pricey, but showing a lot of promise; tropical fruit balanced by great acidity, with a long, spicy finish.

Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon, $50 (BCLDB) – one of the biggest reds we tasted on the night, with mouth-filling tannins, excellent structure, and all the checkmarks of fruit, balance and complexity. Can age for a decade still, but would be fun to drink now.

Trefethen

Chardonnay, $35 (BCLDB) – from a classic California producer, this wine has plenty of body, well-integrated oak, and beautiful fruit.

Cabernet Sauvignon, $50 (BCLDB) – amazing elegance, minerality, depth and balance from this bottle. The palate is soft and lush, but still shows excellent acidity. Nice long finish. Loved this wine.

Zaca Mesa

Syrah, $35 (Coming soon) - a well-regarded value buy south of the border, and this bottle will soon be available in BC. Varietally bang-on, with loads of spicy pepper on the finish, and great structure. Nose is showing some oaky youth, but will be great in a year.


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Wine truths

“Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.”
by Lord Byron

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.