Well here we are in June and we’re still giving our thermostats a workout. In our heart of hearts we know however that it’s still too early for anything resembling summer here on the coast. So in an, perhaps entirely misguided, exercise in wish-fulfillment I present two old world classics that you should revisit once the sun decides it’s going to settle in for the months ahead.
Domaine Gobelsburg 2008 Riesling Austria Under $30.00
At the price of some BC Rieslings, this wine delivers plenty of character and is more stridently individualistic showing off its terroir.
Abundant aromas of vanilla waft from the glass followed by an undertow of tarragon and snow peas. Classic when you think of how many Austrian whites can bring these herbaceous characteristics.
The texture is as slippery as mercury and is super-soft and cooling. Flavours are subtle and remind of water chestnuts, sweet green vegetables, wet stone and a savoury finish of lime zest.
A very good and dry Riesling from a top producer that would work equally well with citrus and herb-laced or Mediterranean spiced Octopus/Calamari salads.
Varanda do Conde 2010 Vinho Verde Alvarinho-Trajadura Portugal Under $20.00
In the world of wine perhaps only a frosty Rose or a zippy low alcohol Riesling Sekt can match the bracing refreshment that a good Vinho Verde offers for summer sun sipping.
For a Vinho Verde the Varanda has a distinct and robust nose with pear, melon and ripples of pineapple on the finish.
One of the two grapes here is the relatively productive and thick-skinned Alvarinho, a variety that, despite its drawback of providing less juice than other white varieties of the region, does deliver considerable flavours, aromas and good acidity. The lesser known Trajadura is a low-yielding vine of good quality and the fruit is often used for blending with the purpose of moderating the overall acidity.
The texture is slippery and waxy giving your tongue something to play with and the flavours of honeysuckle and pear resolve into the fresh green veg. of raw snow peas. Very briefly, from the mid-palate on, you may even be reminded of Austria’s Gruner Veltliner.
This is an invigorating and versatile white of great value perfectly suited to patio foods such as ceviche, salads or cold roast chicken sandwiches. A very fine example of Vinho Verde.
Ralf Joneikies is the General Manager of Viti Wine & Lager in downtown Vancouver. Having trained at Niagara College he has a background in wine making, wine chemistry and viticulture and in 2008 was fortunate to assist in winemaking duties at one of Germanys pre-eminent family-owned estates. In 2009 he was invited to participate as a reviewer with the LCBO Vintages tasting panel and in November of that year assumed the role of GM at Viti. Viti proudly services a broad range of tastes and price considerations and is recognized as one of Vancouver’s premier destinations for Craft Beer and Single Malt Whiskies.
Viti Yaletown Liquor Store – 900 Seymour Street Vancouver
Viti Wine & Lagers
info @ vitiwinelagers.com