Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Comfortable Chewbacca & Seasonal Shelback

After that slight hiatus and a little stay-at-home time, it's back to seasonal gatherings. Time for a little get-together with some fellow BC Wine Appreciation Society folks. The number of guests was small but the array of bottles was worthy of any Christmas party.

I should have known better than to head over with the intention of behaving myself. I doubt one of Shelback and Chewbacca's soirées will ever be spoken of as having had a shortage of wine - and this evening was no different, as you can tell by the collection of bottles at the bottom of the post. Thing is I'm only adding two bottles to The List because, while I had small tastes of most the wines offered, I limited my second pours to these three - and one of them has already been downed and counted.

N.V. See Ya Later Ranch - SYL Brut (VQA Okanagan Valley)

I suppose it shouldn't be too surprising that it's the bubbly that I've previously been intimate with - on a couple of occasions. The SYL Brut is non-vintage; so, the rules of this game (such as I've declared them) is that a non-vintage wine can only be added once - even if the wines themselves almost certainly came from different years. Interestingly enough, one of those earlier bottles of SYL was savoured with much of tonight's crowd a couple of BCWAS Bus Tours ago. The bottle that actually made The List, however, was at the 2012 neighbourhood Dine Around (and I just wrote about this year's party a couple of posts ago).

I don't think one should never complain about a second (or third) pour of the same bubbly though - particularly during the holiday season.

1827.  2011 Ricossa - Antica Casa Barbaresco (DOCG Barbaresco - Piedmont - Italy)

It's somewhat ironic that the Ricossa Barbaresco can also be found already on The List but that was back at #902 and it the 2005 vintage. Thus, I get to add this new vintage. Maybe it was just the setting but this Barbaresco seemed a whole lot lighter in body and flavour than that earlier bottle did. We all commented on how surprising it was that the other wines were all proving to be much bigger than the Nebbiolo-based juice. We've all been trained to expect boisterous wine when sipping Barbaresco but this seemed more like a big Pinot or Gamay.

It couldn't have been that bad, however, I did go back for a second glass after all. I suppose there's as much good to be found in red fruit as there is in brooding, dark fruit - especially when paired with salami and charcuterie.

1828.  2008 Poplar Grove - The Legacy (VQA Okanagan Valley)

The Poplar Grove Legacy was three years older than the Barbaresco but it still tasted like the much bigger wine. Being a Cab-based blend, you might think that comes into play - but we are talking 55% Cab Franc, not Cab Sauv. There is some Cab Sav being served up but it's only 19%. The remaining quarter balance of the blend is Merlot. Reading the line-up in advance, you might have expected a lighter bodied wine. Then again, it is from Poplar Grove and they've never been noted for the lightness of their wines (thankfully).

2008 was a late-starting, but long-lasting, growing season in the Okanagan and the wine seems to have benefitted from the extra hang time. There was a nice balance of fruit, tannin and acid to the wine - although someone must have been anxious to open it because there was plenty of opportunity for further cellaring on this legacy.

I hate to admit it but I was the first to throw my ugly Christmas sweater (which was much admired by all assembled) and take leave of the festivities. Christmas might have been just around the corner but I knew that I had one helluva busy weekend ahead of me.

And on that happy note...

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