Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pacific Breeze Chard

It's not too often that a "Cellared in BC" or "Cellared in Canada" wine gets added to The List. That designation on the bottle simply means that the winery has sourced at least a portion of the grapes going into the wine from outside the province of BC. Those grapes could have come from anywhere in the world and are often seen as being the fruit of overproduction in countries like Chile. They are also often the wines you see with cute little animals on the labels.

Although none of Pacific Breeze's grapes are grown or sourced from BC, the principals behind the winery are definitely not simply buying up the seconds or leftovers from mass producers around the world. Far from it, those principals like to think of themselves as the first "garagiste" winery in Canada. They simply had no interest in buying or maintaining vineyards. They decided on a business plan that sees them buying premium grapes from contracted growers in California and Washington state. The grapes are harvested to Pacific Breezes's specifications and carefully shipped to the Lower Mainland where the New Westminster winery (which literally is a warehouse garage in a storage park) crafts small production wines.

My sis, Vixen, has friends that are big fans of the winery and we dropped in during an open house some time back. You know we were impressed ourselves when we leave with a case of wine - including some Chardonnay.

711. 2007 Pacific Breeze - Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay (Bottled in BC)

This is the first bottle to be opened from the ones we bought that day. Most of the wines we purchased were red - no surprise there - but I recall thinking, at the time, that the Chardy was nicely balanced - a nice creaminess to the wine but with lots of fruit still coming through. Unfortunately for tonight's dinner, my recollection was a little brighter than the juice in our glass this evening though.

The grapes for the wine were sourced from a noted vineyard in California's Sonoma region and, like a great many Chardonnays from the Golden State, there's been a liberal use of oak in the aging of the wine. Methinks that, after a couple of years in the bottle, the fruit has subsided more than I would have like and the oak has become a little more dominant.

We've got a tour of the winery facilities planned in the months to come. So, it will be good to taste their current Chardonnay again and see if maybe we should have just popped this cork a tad sooner.

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