Thursday, November 20, 2014

#BCWineChat - Try Something New

Seems like I can barely make time to get the odd blog post out, let alone find time to play with everyone on Twitter or social media as much as I might like to. Once in awhile though, I'm able to join the Twitterverse for a BCWineChat on Wednesday nights. This week's topic was a live tasting tweet-up where participants were urged to find a bottle of BC wine that they've never tried before.

Given the high percentage of BC wines that we open in our household, trying a new producer can be a bit of task - even with the proliferation of new wineries that continually seem to be popping up.

I happened to have a bottle that I'd been waiting to try since picking it up following the BC Wine Appreciation Society's Bus Tour last year.

1802.  2012 Lariana Cellars Viognier (Okanagan Valley VQA)

This Viognier was the first release from Lariana Cellars, a boutique winery that has the privilege of calling itself the Okanagan's southernmost winery. Their property is found right at the Canada-U.S. border. Indeed, in trying to reach the winery, you have to be careful that you make the turn and avoid heading into the States.

I was looking forward to trying this Viognier because everything I'd read or heard about Lariana had been very complimentary.

The winery is operated by Carol and Dan Scott and half their 10-acre property still remains a lakeside campground. Carol Scott's family had owned the campground since the 1960's and Ms. Scott's father had also been involved in a vineyard a little further up the valley on Black Sage Road. When the Scott's took over the campground property, the current vineyard was a fruit orchard. In 2007, the fruit trees were replaced with grapevines and, after a couple of years of selling their grapes to other wineries, they decided to take the plunge and produce their own wines.

In looking into the wine a bit, I saw that the Scott's had engaged the gathered wisdom that is Senka Tenant - one of the originators of Black Hills and one of BC's most iconic wines, Nota Bene, and the current operator of TerraVista Cellars. I've long been a fans of Senka's wines. So, that only added to the cachet of Lariana. Added to that, as mentioned, the release of 2012 Viognier was met with great response and the exuberance continued for the 2013 vintage where one local scribe, Daenna Van Mulligan (The Wine Diva), declared that it was "most likely British Columbia's best Viognier."

With all that going for the wine, I was looking forward to giving the wine a go with #BCWineChat. The introduction of Lariana to the evening's Twitter discussion certainly seemed to echo the enthusiasm otherwise displayed. Only problem was that the wine, at least for me, just didn't deliver on all that zeal. It might have been the bottle that I had, but I didn't notice all the vibrant aromas and flavours that I'd been reading about. If I hadn't known what the wine was, I doubt that I'd even thought of Viognier as a possibility - and I tend to find Viognier to be quite a distinctive varietal.

The good news was that Boo really enjoyed the wine, vibrant or not - and that will likely mean we'll give Lariana another go should I run across some of their limited production again.

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