Sunday, June 21, 2009

Three Notes before Heading Off

As mentioned previously, the whole keeping up with blog entries is a bit of task - and this recent vacation just made things all that much tougher. The three wines set out here were the last three that Boo and I had before heading off. They were actually over four or five nights and, since they were just enjoyed with dinner at home, I'm going to mention them here altogether.

81. 2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley - Washington state)

82. 2003 Boggy Creek Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon (King Valley - Australia)

83. 2006 Poplar Grove Pinot Gris (Naramata Bench - BC)

If memory serves, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest producer in Washington and they have a vast portfolio. This is an entry level wine that my folks brought back from Costco (such a novel concept to us here in North of the border in BC - buying wine at Costco that is, not entry level wines). It performed just like it was supposed to.

We didn't really know anything about Boggy Creek. I think we might have won it at a tasting awhile back. It was a very pleasant surprise. The King Valley is located a couple of hours North of Melbourne and I haven't seen or heard much of the area before. The winery's website says that the valley is similar to Tuscany and Piedmonte in its growing conditions and that it's considered cool climate for Australia.

I don't see Boggy Creek listed on the BC Liquor Stores' web site, so I'm not sure where we even look to find more from them. I wouldn't mind checking into them at all.

The flip side of Boggy Creek is the Poplar Grove Pinot Gris. While we don't get the opportunity to drink a lot of Poplar Grove, we're certainly well aware of the winery. Poplar Grove has been considered one of the foremost boutique wineries in BC for a decade now but their production was always limited. In 2007, new partners were brought into the business and access to land, grapes and production facilities was scheduled to increase multi-fold.

This level of investment seems to be happening to a number of the old boutique wineries. It will be interesting to see how standards and reputation hold up. Poplar Grove has concentrated on just a few varietals in the past. The question will be whether they expand production of the same wines or they start producing more and more varietals.

The winery refers to Pinot Gris as their signature white and there was plenty in this bottle to confirm the opinion. There'll be a number of more Poplar Grove wines showing up on The List in the bottles to come.

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