Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An LG-Winning Riesling

The 2011 Lieutenant Governor's Wine Awards were recently announced and I thought it might be appropriate to blog about them while adding one of this year's winners to The List.

The L-G's Awards were introduced in 2003 to help celebrate the improving quality of BC wines and bring a bit of hoopla and media prominence to the industry. BC winemaking is still very much a locally driven affair. Very few bottles ever travel outside of the province; so, exposure of this nature is very much welcomed.

The L-G's seek to honour BC wines of high quality. The wines must be made from only BC-grown grown grapes by a BC winery. There is no specific style or varietal that is featured, excellence in wine alone is meant to be celebrated. However, a maximum of twelve wines will be awarded in any one year and, regardless of the number of wines that a winery might produce, each winery is limited to a submission of four wines.

In 2011, 83 wineries considered the best of their wines and submitted 309 of them. Eleven wines were awarded and we're lucky enough to be enjoying one tonight.

885. 2009 St. Hubertus Dry Riesling (VQA Okanagan Valley)

There aren't a lot of St. Hubertus wines on The List. I think there might be one or two that have been added; however, it isn't one of the wineries that regularly grace our table. I think the most prominent reference that I've made to the Gebert brothers is that their's remains the only BC winery that has ever been consumed by a forest fire.

Regular readers of this blog know that I'm a big lover of Riesling and this one is a wonderful blend of fruit and acidity. John Schreiner, one of BC's most prominent wine writers, calls this vintage a "classic." Who am I to disagree?

And you know what? The wine sells (sold?) for $15.50 - a bargain in any market, let alone BC.

This year's winners included some familiar names like Howard Soon and Sandhill's Syrah, Wild Goose (for its Pinot Blanc) and Sumac Ridge's classic bubble, Stellar's Jay Brut. Half of the award recipients were first time winners though - St. Hubertus being one of them.

I look forward to the Lieutenant Governor's Wine Awards every year. The "problem" is that, once the Awards are announced, the chances of actually finding the winning wines can be as elusive as the Canucks winning the Stanley Cup. I definitely lucked out in finding this Riesling at one of the VQA shops.

I don't expect to run across too many other winners - although I'm extremely happy to note that Karen Gillis and Red Rooster also won an L-G for their 2008 Reserve Meritage - and that's the wine that Karen chose to fill our 3L bottle with for Boo's 50th birthday. When picking the wine for the bottle, I told her to just go with whatever she thought her best wine on hand was. She chose the Meritage and, here, she wins an L-g with it. Guess the girl knows her own wines - not that I ever doubted that!

Methinks St. Hubertus needs to be on my radar a little more.

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