I can’t believe we’re half-way through May already! Hopefully the random, late–season smatterings of snow across the country are behind us, so let’s brighten things up with a trio of shimmering, charismatic white wines in hopes that sunny days and warm temperatures are here to stay.
You know what this wine tastes like? GRAPES! I know, it sounds crazy, right? Yup, each sip is like plucking the best from a bowl of fresh green table grapes, along with a bunch of Concords and a handful of white flowers. Continued sips, which are guaranteed with the bottle’s juicy and crisp deliciousness, bring lychee fruit and a touch of citrus. An aromatic delight, there’s nothing like it in the country; stock your fridge well.
This Chardonnay’s well-integrated, toasty French oak and vanilla carry the aromatics from your first sniff right through the very long finish, but in-between you’ll find a host of Granny Smith apple, a bright spot of lemonade, a touch of roasted hazelnuts and so much more. It’s rich and decadent, but the bright acidity keeps it from being heavy or cloying. Fort Berens is the only winery in British Columbia’s fledgling Lillooet region, and bottles like this make you wonder why they’re the only one.
You know, I’m really starting to get used to these Okanagan odes to southern-Rhône Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne blends. Honeyed peaches and nectarines waft out of the glass, continuing into the palate where we get additional layers of tropical fruit like mango, pineapple and papaya. Admirable use of French oak puts everything in place, while the overall balance and, yeah, damn-fine quality show why this critically acclaimed winery is gaining a solid national, and international, following.
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt