Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hester Creek at BC Uncorked!~

Sometimes I wonder if what I think I know is really real. Sound confusing? Well - it is.
Case in point, I was invited last week to the BC Uncorked! wine tasting in Port Moody, BC. Wonderfully scenic place with a warm and inviting atmosphere, Port Moody is really one of those "idyllically BC" BC towns. Really, it looks like a postcard. But this is about the wine, not the town.
So I went to the tasting, prepared to do my utmost to provide a fair and accurate depiction of the varied wines I encountered. Of course, some people began to notice that I was taking copious amounts of notes, and that I was spitting my wine rather than drinking. Ah - the bittersweet pleasure of tasting a wine, but then not consuming. At least I didn't have a hangover.
Half-way through the tasting I made it to a table representing Hester Creek. I had sampled their wines before - though not in a formal way & I don't seem to have any notes on them. So, wonderful! Something new for me & a great chance to learn. I tried several wines, and then promptly told one keen observer that the Hester Creek Cabernet Franc was one of the best value wines at the entire tasting.
Really? Who am I to putting on such assumptions? I had only tasted 1/3 of the wines at that point. I was also (arguably) one of the least trained people working the event. So really - who am I to say that?
I just discovered today, that the Hester Creek Cab Franc (the varietal is also known as Chinon in the Loire Valley of France) wins awards every year. Lots of awards. Gold awards. Every year.
So who I am to assume? Well, I'm the same as anyone else: I have tastebuds, I know what I like and I, like anyone else, deserve to have an opinion. Apparently I do have an opinion on wine, and I certainly hope you do as well... what a boring life it would be if we all thought the same way.
2008 Hester Creek Trebbiano $19
  • Trebbiano, if you aren't aware, is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It's also one of the most unremarkable tasting. It's used alot for brandy & spirits, but also for Balsamic vinegar.
  • this Trebbiano (or Ugni Blanc) has an overpoweringly rich stonefruit nose
  • moderate acids, a rich palate with long flavors of exotic fruits... much more flavor then expected

2006 Cabernet Franc $26 **Buy This Now**

  • a full & rich bouquet of violets & earthy notes
  • moderate+ acids balanced well by full- smooth tannins, rich palate and long structure, long long flavors of baies rouges especially cherry. Some notes of blackberry. Needs & deserves 1 to 2 hours of decanting
  • absolutely brilliant wine. But 6 bottles and try a new bottle every 6 months for 3 years. You will consider it money well spent.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot Blend $16

  • lots of floral notes in the nose with a dash of pepper at the end
  • moderate++ acids, moderate+ tannins, moderate body - this wine has a decent structure but I found the acids getting in the way of the fruit. Decanting will help, as will another year in the bottle i think - beyond that, perhaps the balance has been designed in this way? Or - if the room you are in is very hot (as it was) - it can throw off the balance of a wine.

Hester Creek has shown enough good (and great) value that I am inspired to visit their winery as early as possible. Brilliant work with one of my favorite reds - the Cab Franc if bought now will last for years (or perhaps only hours if you invite your friends and family over).

CinCin! Slainte!

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