BC Wineries brought their A-game to the Vancouver International Wine Festival this year, especially when it came to the global focus: Bubbly. I didn’t even know some of these wineries dabbled, let alone excelled, in sparkling wine production. Without any further ado, here are some highlights of BC bubbles from this year’s festival:
5. Lake Breeze Zephyr Brut 2009 $32
From the winery with one of the best lunch spots in the Okanagan comes a fruit forward sparking wine, with a name referring to a gentle breeze (how very appropriate). I checked it out on their online store and it seems to be sold out, but possibly still available at private liquor stores.
4. Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut N.V. (Non-Vintage) $23.90
Surprisingly the bargain of the bunch, this traditional method sparkling wine is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a little Pinot Gris thrown into the mix. Left on its lees (dead yeast cells) for 2 years, the wine has picked up a bit of toasty yeasty character, but is still overwhelmingly fruity.
3. Haywire Winery The Bub 2012 $25
Spending much less time on its lees is this young bubbly from Haywire. Green apples take centre stage, with some mineral undertones. But the first thing you notice about this wine is the cap. The winemaker has made the decision to use a crown cap (like they use during the second fermentation – and like the cap on beer bottles) to seal the bottle in order to retain freshness and eliminate any possibility of corked bottles.
2. Steller’s Jay Pinnacle 2005 $35
Originally under the Sumac Ridge name, Steller’s Jay has now become a brand under it’s own right. The Pinnacle spends 5 whole years on its lees, and shows off yeasty bready notes that rival Champagne. Definitely a special find!
1. Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel 1998 $85
I could not believe my ears when I heard Summerhill was featuring a 1998 Cipes Ariel at their tasting station. I practically made a b-line for it. Packaged in a very unique bottle, this sparkling wine has notes of brioche and citrus zest among many other things. It has been aged in the bottle for, well, ages which has added complexity and lovely bubbles. Great for a special occasion.
*BC Bubbles at Van Wine Fest written by Monica Zorawski