The recent 37th Vancouver International Wine Festival spread over 10 days with 170 participating wineries was full of so many memorable food & wine experiences. Here are 10 of my top diverse highlights in no special order:
1. CinCin dinner by Chef Andrew Richardson brilliantly matching Armando Castagnedi’s Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarones with Roast Squab, Casteluccio lentils, cipollini onions & Valpolicella braised beef short rib + delicately smoked ash baked potato gnocchi on open fire.
2. Laughing Stock Portfolio Bordeaux blend 10 year vertical by Cynthia & David Enns with vintages 2012, 2009, and 2008 really singing a special distinctive Okanagan quality terroir.
3. Cioppino dinner with Chef Pino Posteraro the master finding subtle flavours in friend Sergio Zingarelli’s Rocca Delle Macie wines to complement his dishes especially adding gingerbread with a light cayenne seasoning for delicious 2010 Roccato (50Sangiovese,50CS).
4. Bruce Tyrrell’s 2005 Semillon Vat 1 showing the incredible ability of early picked Hunter River fruit to really develop so much amazing richness, depth and complexity with bottle age.
5. Hawksworth dinner always a culinary treat to showcase Penfolds with DLynn Proctor featuring the rich dense 2004 Grange Bin 95 (96%shiraz + 4cabsauv) from Barossa Valley (substantial Kalimna), McLaren Vale, and Magill Estate (Adelaide) fruit.
6. Wynn’s Coonawarra seminar Winemaker Sue Hodder showing 2010 cabernets (all concentrated + elegant low 13.5 alcohol range): cooler aromatic deeper terra rosa soils Messenger (2nd release after 2005), muscular tannic Alex 88, to classic complex John Riddoch.
7. La Terrazza Italian Lunch featuring 12 wineries with Raviolo Pasta Envelope filled with ricotta cheese, porcini mushrooms, balsamic-bay leaf butter, toasted walnuts + classy voluptuous 2012 Tenuta Sette Ponti “Oreno” IGT Toscana.
8. Boulevard dinner by Top Chef Matt Stowe & Exec. Chef Alex Chen teaming for “Filet” of Lamb Neck + Chris Hatcher for Wolf Blass including textured 2010 Black Label Cab (51%) Shiraz (49%) from Barossa (51%), Langhorne Creek (32%) & McLaren Vale (17%) fruit.
9. Signorello new 2013 Seta (Italian for silk) 58% Semillon & 42 Sauvignon Blanc dry farmed, low yields on Silverado Trail in Oak Knoll & 100% barrel fermented 11 months lees is outstanding balance + minerals Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Blanc (Laville) wannabe.
10. Damiliano Barolos. Tried 4 2010s all outstanding with 24 months in large barrels Lecinquevigne (5 vineyards blend), Cerequio (La Morra), Brunate (this La Morra vineyard is very cherished in 2010), Cannubi (more sand in the soil) & lighter more floral 2009 Cannubi.
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