Taste these! Wine picks for the 2012 Playhouse Wine Festival – Day 2

Source: http://playhousewinefest.com/

On Day 2 of the 2012 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, we focused our sights on the Regional Theme of this year’s event: Chile. This is region that we don’t spend a lot of money on normally due to the tendency for most wines to bear that “Chilean funk” on the nose: a mix of green pepper, plaster, and rubber. However, what we found was that there were some definite categories of wine that we’d long overlooked.

The first example of this are the wines from the Limari Valley. This is one of the northernmost regions of Chile, and is influenced by the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean. Rainfall is very low here, and the chalky soils contribute a massive minerality to the wines. We definitely tasted it, and these are some wines we recommend you try:


Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, $19  - lime/citrus fruit, very clean with strong minerality throughout.

Viña Tabali

Pinot Noir Reserva Especial, $25 (BCLDB) – excellent acidity and minerality give this wine very focused fruit; only complaint is a slightly short finish, but very enjoyable for this price point.

Reserva Syrah, $22 (BCLDB) – again, the acidity brings a focus to this fruit, and along with the tannin provide an excellent strucuture, leading to a peppery finish; an absolute bargain for $22.


Beyond these excellent wines from the Limari Valley, we’re going to make an extra effort to drink a lot more Chilean whites when the sun finally returns to Vancouver. With most at the $15 price point, we were extremely pleased with the great fruit, acidity and balance shown by the following wines:


Chardonnay, $18 (BCLDB) – oak is present but well-balanced, as well as green apple fruit, and refreshing acidity.


Reserve Viognier-Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay (blend), $15 (BCLDB) – very fruity, summer sipper, peachy, with balanced acidity.

Viña Leyda

Garuma Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, $19 (BCLDB) – was surprised that this wasn’t from the Limari Valley as it reminded me a lot of the Tamaya; almost the exact same tasting note as above.

Miguel Torres

Hemisferio Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, $13 (BCLDB) – tropical fruit salad in a glass, but so well-balanced with vibrant acidity; think peach meets lemon; what a steal at this price too.

Viña Morandé

Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, $16 (BCLDB) – grassy with stonefruit, nicely balanced, excellent acidity and a nice long finish.


We didn’t find a lot of red wines of note, mainly due to time, and minutely due to the funky Chilean nose that we struggle to get past. Regardless, here are some that we enjoyed:

Viña Maipo

Limited Edition Syrah, $30 (BCLDB) – great tannic structure, black pepper on the palate with a hint of green pepper, nicely balanced with black fruit; a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend really gives it some structural punch.

Viña Tarapaca

Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, $18 (BCLDB) – holy hell, I’m not sure how this is only priced at $18 because it is a BARGAIN; strong nose of black fruit and menthol, followed by good structure on the palate. Perfect mid-week red.

Zavala, $39 (BCLDB) – this is a red blend that changes yearly, but this vintage was Cabernet Franc dominant, with Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon in supporting roles; intense nose of sweet chocolate and pencil lead; slightly vegetal on the palate, but driven by mouth-filling tannins; needs a few years to settle down but still enjoyable now.

2 comments to Taste these! Wine picks for the 2012 Playhouse Wine Festival – Day 2

  • Susan

    Hey, have you guys stopped drinking?
    Why don’t you update your fabulous website more often?

    • WCVR

      Hi Susan,
      Our apologies for the lack of posts lately. We’re in the midst of a relocation to London, UK. Don’t worry, though. We’ll be doing “WINEcouver On Tour” and bringing you lots more reviews, including wines you can buy here in Vancouver. That said, I imagine the quantity of BC Wine reviews will decline dramatically.
      Mr. W

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