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Crasto, Signorello, Vallado,


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Notes from the Vancouver Wine Festival

Lunch with some of the winery principals – Ray Signorello, Christiano van Zeller of Quinta do Valle Dona Maria, Miguel Roquette of Quinta do Crasto, and Bill Spence, manager at Matua Valley in New Zealand. These lunches offer a wonderful opportunity to chat informally with knowledgeable wine people while tasting some of their wines with lunch.

2004 Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc – rich fruit nose on this wine, and lush presentation, not to crisp. Worked well with food.

2003 Signorello Seta -60% Semillon, 40% sauv blanc, this is Ray’s white Bordeaux look-alike. In fact it did a good job of appearing to be a somewhat oaked Bordeaux!

2003 Matua Bullrush Vineyard Hawkes Bay Merlot – bright berry nose, bit of spritz on tongue –fresh, drink now.

2002 Edge Cabernet (Napa) – does this mean ‘U2’ can have cab (perhaps not after their poor-sounding recent album)? Another Signorello partnership deal, intended to make a decent affordable Cab. Dark, cocoa nose good balance and acid, soft tannin – I’d say now and for the next 3-4 years, but not much longer. Good product, decent price, although the fancy packaging grates a bit when I know we (in Canada) are paying an extra $5 just for the bottle…..

2003 Quinta do Vallado – a blend of 4 Portuguese grapes, this comes across as having not much happening in the nose, but nicely balanced on palate and a good drink-now sort of wine.

2002 Quinta do Valle Dona Maria – an elegant wine with nice spicy cherry nose. Quite full in the mouth with some tar and vanilla. Lots of soft tannins, Very nice!

2002 Quinta do Crasto Reserva “Old Vines’ - I asked Miguel if the Old Vines term, which I didn’t recall seeing on previous vintages, indicated a change in source of fruit and he advised me that it did not – it was simply a clarification of what they had previously been using. Excellent nose with lots of spice, very harmonious middle and good length. This is one to watch out for – I am still drinking the excellent 1997 and haven’t touched my case of 2000 yet!

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