Chaberton Estate Winery is in Langley, British Columbia near the USA border founded in 1975 by Inge & Claude Violet who produced 3000 cases in their first year 1991 as a Farm Gate Winery. The current owners are Anthony Cheng & Eugene Kwan who purchased the winery in 2005 – now in their 17th year. Your scribe has closely followed the progression with keen interest. At times it seemed somewhat confusing as they had too many wines, too many labels (remember Canoe Cove) and often too much residual sugar. However, I believe the wines presently avaiable are the best they have ever been with fresh lively mostly drier style for outstanding value. The flagship big seller is their Estate Grown Bacchus showing sweeter citrus notes with balanced acidity (used to do both a dry & this most popular one). The new exciting undiscovered treasure recommended by your scribe is Estate Grown GAMAY NOIR. This month I was surprised by the refreshing exuberant textbook Gamay fruit displayed by this delightful red when quite chilled from both the 2020 & 2021 vintages. Now better understand the enthusiasm always shown by Janet Dorozynski for Canadian Gamay with her #gogamaygo hashtag promotions. Hopefully another Malivoire Gamay success story is in the making. The 2020 was opened by us for dinner to celebrate BC Day August 1st and was a big hit. We loved the 100% local Fraser Valley “wild roses” fruit singing brilliantly at only 11.5 abv showing a softer most drinkable texture from malolactic fermentation & lighter tannins with those cherry-rhubarb flavours. The 2021 was similar at their home Bacchus Bistro (named after the successful Bacchus grape variety) paired with excellent dishes for lunch on August 11. This small lot vintage 2021 deservedly just took Gold at the Wine Align 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada. The winery Wine List appropriately describes it as “bright raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry flavours in a light bodied wine.” Price is a real value at the bottle price $20.95 (wine shop) & $46 (restaurant – or $12 for a 6 ounce glass). Another purchase opportunity for easy Summer picnics is the 4 pack cans (250 ml) of the Chaberton White & Red for $24. Don’t forget the unsung top quality food consistently produced in the Bacchus Bistro by Chef Ashley Chisham and his brigade. Many delicious favs include Lobster Bisque, Fresh Halibut, Duck Leg Confit, Spicy Lamb Shank, Fresh Apricot Tart, and Vanilla Ice Cream with warm dark chocolate sauce. Worth a detour.
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