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2006 Vancouver International Wine Festival


jamiemaw
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It's Fance's turn and apparently just in the nick of - their market share here has slipped to less than 6 per cent.

Last night saw us to West for the Select Wine Merchants dinner with several big labels, and a terrific find. David Hawksworth offered a French-influenced menu that married convivially with each bottle; he began with canapes of tuna tartare with radish; crispy brandade with beetroot creme fraiche (!); spiced lamb balls with saffron aioli; and lobster salad.

Terrific company in the room as well (which was wisely kept to about 60 covers), which is what really sets this Wine Festival apart from pretenders: Etienne Hugel, Nicolas Jaboulet, Julien de Rothschild and Cyril Henriques, whose very reasonably-priced dessert wine stole the show from the hefty reds, although the still-young Hermitage is a beauty as well.

The Henriques is an oxidized granache blanc and macabeau blend that enjoys thunderous notes of Spain (it's grown only 15 kilometres from the border). It's available by special order through Select Wine Merchants. I found it particulalry good value as it comes in 500ml bottles ($21.45!) and is very good with cheese, especially the bleus brothers.

A very cheerful evening:

Canapes

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV ($62.95)

Yellowfin tuna and scallop carpaccio, smoked tea trout caviar

and watermelon radish

Hugel Reisling Jubilee 2001 ($43.95)

Terrine of Quebec fois gras with pear and saffron chutney,

toasted brioche

Hugel Reisling Vendage Tardive 2001 (S/O)

Pot au feu of squab with black winter truffle, porcini essence

Hermitage La Chappelle 2001 ($164.95)

Toasted almond-crusted venison loin with braised red cabbage,

Squash Ravioli

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1996 (S/O)

Pear apricot tart tatine with melted brie, caramel fennel ice cream

Henriques Rivesaltes Hors d'Age Domaine de Forca Real 2003 (500 ml/$21.45)

Petit Fours

I'm looking forward to hearing of your finds.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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The Henriques is an oxidized granache blanc and macabeau blend that enjoys thunderous notes of Spain (it's grown only 15 kilometres from the border). It's available by special order through Select Wine Merchants. I found it particulalry good value as it comes in 500ml bottles ($21.45!) and is very good with cheese, especially the bleus brothers.

Jamie,

Glad you liked the above mentioned wine...Consumer's are still coming to grips with gems like these.

Cheers,

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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I too was at the West dinner on Monday evening. I enjoyed it immensely - both the great food and wine. I thought each course was well thought out and presented. I would have loved to have taken photos, but felt it was inappropriate for the occasion. The squash ravioli was absolutely sublime. I could have had an entire bowl of that.

theit's grown only 15 kilometres from the border

Question for Jamie and anyone else that may have been there - we were having a discussion at our table as to exactly where in the south of France the Henriques Rivesaltes Hors d'Age Domaine de Forca Real came from. We had 2 votes (including mine) for close to Banyuls, one for closer to Perignan and one abstainer.

Tell me I was right :biggrin:

Life is short, eat dessert first

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Thursday afternoon at the show was prefaced by lamb burger and yam fries chez nwyles; an excellent aperitif for the main course of wines on offer.

I was particularly interested in Rieslings this time, with German, Aussie and Kiwi ones on offer. The standout was Villa Maria Reisling; try it after a Rhine or Eden Valley example - deeply fruity on the nose, but tight to the point of austere in the mouth

From that end of the spectrum to Alvear Pedro Ximinez Anada 2003, a sherry that will knock your socks off! $18 for a 375ml bottle that will become a treasure for those with the patience to cellar it for a (long) while. I tasted Penfold's Grandfather Port prior to the sherry, thinking that it was out of order olfactorily, but the sherry more than held its own; liquid vintage Christmas Cake! They (Alvear) also poured a PX Reserve 1998; much more refined than the Anada.

The French section had many good wines. I thought those that insisted on a sequenced tasting did their audience proud. Five Chablis from Moreau for example, was a very well considered tour through the valley and their caves, culminating with a 2001 Reserve that was a flinty knockout.

Many great wines, and not enough time! The best $5 I spent was on a Reidel stem from Puddifoot's table.

Vive la France, et les autres!

John

"Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos"

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I too was at the West dinner on Monday evening.  I enjoyed it immensely - both the great food and wine.  I thought each course was well thought out and presented.  I would have loved to have taken photos, but felt it was inappropriate for the occasion.  The squash ravioli was absolutely sublime.  I could have had an entire bowl of that.
theit's grown only 15 kilometres from the border

Question for Jamie and anyone else that may have been there - we were having a discussion at our table as to exactly where in the south of France the Henriques Rivesaltes Hors d'Age Domaine de Forca Real came from. We had 2 votes (including mine) for close to Banyuls, one for closer to Perignan and one abstainer.

Tell me I was right :biggrin:

Perpignan. And I'm surprised you took an abstainer to a wine dinner. :shock::laugh: Cyril Henriques arrived straight from the airport having flown via Heathrow - charming guy.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Oh, and quote of the afternoon went to a young lady I overheard in passing the Pol Roger table. "Gee, this pink wine [Brut Rose '98] tastes really........pink"!!

John

Edited by jtcookie (log)

"Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos"

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Just returned from the VPIWF Sommelier of the Year and SIP awards (Industry Achievement), which we co-sponsor, this year with the wines of Alsace and Rhône and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.

Sommelier of the Year: Sebastien Le Goff, CinCin Ristorante

SIP Industry Achievement Award: Daryll Weinbrun, Retired CEO Maxxium Canada and Co-Founder VPIWF

A very jolly afternoon.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Just returned from the VPIWF Sommelier of the Year and SIP awards (Industry Achievement), which we co-sponsor, this year with the wines of Alsace and Rhône and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.

Sommelier of the Year: Sebastien Le Goff, CinCin Ristorante

SIP Industry Achievement Award: Daryll Weinbrun, Retired CEO Maxxium Canada and Co-Founder VPIWF

A very jolly afternoon.

I won a Bronze last year, with Pino meeting me at the doo to tell me.

This year, ??????

What happened.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Just returned from the VPIWF Sommelier of the Year and SIP awards (Industry Achievement), which we co-sponsor, this year with the wines of Alsace and Rhône and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.

Sommelier of the Year: Sebastien Le Goff, CinCin Ristorante

SIP Industry Achievement Award: Daryll Weinbrun, Retired CEO Maxxium Canada and Co-Founder VPIWF

A very jolly afternoon.

I won a Bronze last year, with Pino meeting me at the doo to tell me.

This year, ??????

What happened.

Neil,

My understanding is that a.) because the Wine Festival is earlier this year and b.) becuase the evaluation of so many entries is such a daunting task adjudicated by volunteer experts that c.) the results of this year's competition will be made public in early May, at the Restaurant Awards. Good luck.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I am having a giant cainet made to house the bronze award from last year. I just needed to know if I needed to make room for another. :biggrin:  :biggrin:

[nwyles,Mar 3 2006, 08:47 PM]

I won a Bronze last year, with Pino meeting me at the doo to tell me.

This year, ??????

What happened.

Sound plan, I'm sure, Neil. Just remember not to step in Pino's doo, please.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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B.C. 's French Connection at Cru

We went to this Wine Fest dinner on Sunday, and had a richly satisfying meal. The highlight of the dinner was the Seared Bison Tenderloin, Cambazola Risotto, and Fig Demi-Glace. The most interesting wine was The Inniskillin Okanagan Discovery Series Malbec 2004, which hasn't been released yet. I take it we were drinking barrel samples-dark, dense and inky, black cherry, plum, blackberry--much nicer after it had opened up a bit in the glass. My MIL said it smelled of dirty socks at first, but I was catching some rose, black currant, and tea in the bouquet later on. If it had been decanted, I think it would have been really nice, and my FIL said it would have been really good paired with the bison. It did go well with the mushroom terrine course. The food was all right on the mark. Chef Reinhardt was not there, but the team did well, especially under a new chef de cuisine. The wines were all from Vincor, and Krista Lee Waters was the speaker for the evening.

We started out with the 2004 Jackson-Triggs Okanangan Estate Proprietor's Sauvignon Blanc, which had lots of lemon, grapefruit and green apple flavor and elegant mouthfeel (sorry Neil).

The dinner began with Dungeness Crab Cocktail and Spinach Vichyssoise which was full of the bright clean flavours of spring. I felt this was the best pairing of the evening. The wines were 2004 Jackson-Triggs Okangan Estate Proprieter's Grand Reserve Meritage White and the 2004 Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Black Sage Vineyard Meritage White. Both wines were very floral on the nose, and the JT was 85% Sauvignan Blanc and 15% Semillon while the Sumac Ridge was 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. My FIL said that in less politically correct time, the Sumac Ridge would have been called more feminine. It was softer and rounder than the JT. I ended up liking both the "masculine" assertiveness of the JT as well as the more mellow, glycerous quality of the Sumac Ridge.

The Terrine of Wild Mushrooms and Micro Greens was served with the Inniskillin Okanagan Discovery Series Malbec. It was harvested late--on Oct. 30, with a Brix of 25. It is the only one of two single varietal Malbecs in BC. As I said, it was a dense, inky wine that was a beguiling curiosity-dark, velvety and intriguing, if not complex. Of course, I'm a mushroom lover, so I could have eaten about three portions of this dish. It was served with baguette crisps, which I loaded with a layer each of the silky terrine, the pleasantly salty mushrooms and the frisée lettuce with its nutty dressing.

The Grilled Lamb Chop and Braised Shoulder was served atop Parsnip Pureé. I just feel that the meat at Cru is cooked to perfection, so I was really happy there were two meat courses. This was served with the 2003 Jackson-Triggs Estate Proprietor's Grand Reserve Meritage (40% Merlot, 40% Cab Sauv., 10% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot), the 2002 Nk' Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Meritage, and the 2003 Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Black Sage Vineyard Meritage Here's where my notes start to get a bit fuzzy--too much wine and not enough food addled my brain.

The Seared Bison Tenderloin, Cambazola Risotto, Fig Demi-Glace was served with the Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Pinnacle 2002 (60% Merlot, 18% Cab Sauv, 18% Cab Franc, and 4% Syrah). It had soft tannins and a cherry-forward palate. We also drank the Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2003 (75% Merlot, 11 Cab. Sauv., 6% Malbec, 5% Pertit Verdot. and 3% Cabernet Franc. The bison was a lovely deep rosy pink and very tender. The Cambabzola was as creamy and rich as a savory rice pudding, and the fig demi glace really tied the dish to the wines.

My overall impression was that with cellaring and decanting, these blended reds will prove to be pretty competitive with French Bordeaux, particularly the Osoyoos Larose. Once the tannins are a bit silkier, they will be very seductive.

For dessert we had a Pear Tart Tatin with Cardamom Ice Cream. Fresh fruit flavors combined with more caramelized fruit sugars, which paired wonderfully with the spicy ice cream.

Thanks to the staff at Cru for a lovely night.

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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