Tequila-lime shrimp big on flavour
British Columbia wines took on the world late last month at the fourth annual Judgment of BC.
The double-blind tasting, hosted by the BC Wine Institute, and curated by Vancouver-based wine educator DJ Kearney, pits 12 acknowledged global benchmark wines against a dozen B.C. labels. This year’s tasting was held in Kelowna involving 37 international and national judges asked to taste and rank all 24 wines.
The 2018 themes featured traditional method sparkling wine and Bordeaux-style red blends.
Each category contained six B.C. labels and six international selections. The results, as always, are interesting although in some ways increasingly predictable. Once you strip away the history and marketing heft of the famous regions you need only deal with what’s in the glass, and in 2018, B.C.’s best wines like other emerging regions, are not all that far from the mountaintop.
Interestingly, the category we excelled in this year was red Bordeaux blends.
Not to be too picky but hands up if you know what that means, especially if you haven’t taken a pricey wine certification course in the last decade.
The title refers to the way Bordeaux red blends are made, namely with varying amounts of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, carmenère and a few other obscure grapes with deep roots in the Bordeaux region. OK so how did we do?
The good news is B.C. took the top two spots among red blends. Poplar Grove Winery 2014 The Legacy ranked first while Laughing Stock Vineyards 2015 Portfolio finished a close second. “The fact that two B.C. wines topped the red blends challenge was a true testament to our distinct
We are guessing richness in combination with freshness, and purity of fruit, was a big part of their attraction to the panel.
The sparkling wine competition was even more interesting. First place went to a perennial California favourite, Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV $46.99. The often-maligned Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV $69.99 proved its mettle in the blind setting, as did the splendid Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut XIII France $67.99.
Four, five and sixth place went to B.C. bubble beginning with the bargain-priced, Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars Blanc de Blancs R.D. 2010 $39.90 followed by Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery The One 2012 $47.90, while 6th overall went to the Sperling Vineyards Brut Reserve 2011 $50.
Those who know B.C. wine will not be surprised by the sparkling wine showing but it’s always good to go head to head to see how we measure up. Our position at 49 degrees north can only help us exploit the sparkling wine market moving forward as the more traditional regions struggle with warmer and warmer vintages.
International judge Christine Austin, British wine writer for the Yorkshire Post said, “It has been the most fascinating tasting, BC Wine can stand up on the world stage with their own character, flavours, personality and hold their head up high against some of the best wines in the world.”
Master Sommelier James Tidwell and co-founder of the TEXSOM Conference, said “British Columbia is unique due to its climate and geology in actually being able to produce many grapes and styles at high quality, I look forward to the day when these wines are more recognized in the international market.”
You can access the full results on the BCWI website here and as always, we encourage you to taste local wines against international wines and see for yourself where we stand.
Garlicky Shrimp and Tequila, from Now & Again by Julia Turshen.