The annual Vancouver International Wine Festival is here. I had an opportunity for an advanced look at the wines being poured on the festival floor for the next three days. Spain and Portugal are the theme regions (fierce rivals in realty, but us Canadians lump all of Iberia together). There are a decent handful of good offerings this year. I set out my selections below.
100% Virua. Under $20. Fresh, focused, very good.
Cune makes some of the best traditional Rioja for very reasonable prices. This is a good example. around $35.
White field blend from the Douro’s consummate Dirk Niepoort. Fresh, minerals, elegance, a touch of weight. Lovely and priced in the mid $30s.
Stunningly good this year. Fresh and plenty of minerality. This is not your big Douro power wine. Excellent. $55.
A nice example of the bigger-boned power-style of Douro field blends. Very Good+. $50.
A wonderful example of barrel fermented Rueda. I loved this one. Sadly not at the festival store.
The Losada top bottling is perfectly typical Mencia, with mid-weight spice and fruit and elegance all for under $40.
A modernist producer, but a good one. 2015 is a great vintage for this wine. It is actually drinking well now, but best to hold on to it. Excellent to Excellent+. $100.
Perfectly typical Taurasi. Well made. Excellent. $55.
A great vintage of Serpico. One of the best Aglianicos in Italy. Excellent to Excellent+. Not in festival store.
Fresh, focused, with just enough complexity. This is well made Cortese. If you haven’t had Gavi I recommend giving this a try. Very Good to Very Good+.
Chiarlo’s oak treatment is unusual. He uses french oak, but custom builds barrels in the large 55hl size. The result is a barbera that exceeds the grape’s typical limitations. Very Good+.
Proof that 2013 will be a great vintage in La Morra, which is where the grapes for this entry-level Barolo are sourced. Good value. High quality. Excellent.