Van Westen Voluptuous 2007


Classic, classic, classic.  If more meritage blends from BC were built this way, we would get a decent reputation for quality.

Here the problem!!    I recommend this wine, you go out and pick up a bottle or few and you take it home and drink it.  How many of you are going to hold onto this wine for the 5 plus years it needs to show even better?  The statistics say – very few of you.

The wine maker grew incredible fruit, oak aged the wine to give it structure and balance, and deep down knows it will show its best in the future.  Then you have this fundamental reality of business called cash flow.  Having already invested 2-3 years of inventory and production, the wine needs to start earning its keep.  As with the majority of the wineries in the world, very few have the financial capabilities to age their wines till perfection before releasing to the public.  Not to mention the winery would have to charge more for the wine to age it for you.

Here’s the incentive – my crystal ball tells me if you held this wine for at least 3 more years and opened it on a wonderful fall day in 2015 the wine would likely be rated 93+ points.  Would that convince you?

I preach understand your palate.  In other words discover what you like to drink, the more you ask “why” you like it, the more answers will help you define the wine styles you like best.


Township 7 Syrah 2009

 The Township 7 Syrah 2009 is showing some impressive complexity.  This wine is all about the fruit and tertiary flavours from spending 22 months in French and American oak and now starting to settle into the bottle.  A great expression of BC Sryah, lots of red and plum fruits layered with spice and earthy flavours.  Well made and young and at the price of $25, tuck a few of these away and you will be see even more complexity in the years to come.

Try pairing this wine with a slow roasted leg of lamb and all the trimmings or this summer I will also be having this wine with some homemade porchetta and chimichurri sauce.

La Frenz Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

There is good debate on whether Cabernet Sauvignon should be grown in BC! Many critics believe that our climate does not allow the proper growing conditions this grape needs to ripen properly.  When Cabernet is under ripe it still contains a compound called pyrazine, this gives the wine a distinct green bell pepper aroma and flavour.  Now technically this flavour is not a fault and should not be confused with similiar aromatics found in this grape like mint and eucalyptus.

Some people are instantly turned off of certain flavours in wine and will write a wine off if it evokes too much of a negative experience, and so they should.  It is about discovering your likes and dislikes.  The debate comes from wine professionals who criticize or fault a BC wine for having such flavours, because our Cab Sauv doesn’t have the same profile as ones from California, Australia, or even Bordeaux.

I think the next 10 years will be about discovering what it means to be BC.  We will focus on a style that consistently gives us the best quality and then its about “owning it”.  Making it crystal clear to our consumers what that style is and why.  I don’t think all Cabernet Sauvignon’s from BC are great, but the ones I do like, I would be proud to take traveling with me.

And yes, I do think we can ripen Cabernet Sauvignon in BC.