Garagiste North took place last Sunday afternoon (April 17) from 2-4:30pm at the Wise Hall (1882 Adanac Street) in East Vancouver. The driving force behind Garagiste North is Jennifer Schell, the editor of Food & Wine Trails Magazine and Terry Meyer-Stone who works at Tinhorn Creek. The Wine Festival had a very enthusiastic crowd of 200+ wine enthusiasts and there were about 20 wineries represented. With a minimum of 3 pours per winery the challenge is how to cover this much wine in only 150 minutes. There is no way for a wine festival novice to do justice to all these wines so pick the new ones to try first. The Festival arrangers kept a close eye on the clock. No one entered before 2 O’clock and no pours after 4:30 PM. Live music was provided by Chicken-Like Birds and Peruvian snacks provided by Chicha. Here are the notes from the festival.
Anarchist Mountain Vineyards. Andrew Stone was pouring his Elevation Chardonnay and Wildfire Pinot Noir. The wines are manufactured and sold under license of Meyer Family Vineyards, Okanagan Falls, BC . The Chardonnay is lightly oaked which lets the delicate citrus flavours shine through. The Pinot is light in colour but has a bold taste. Aromas of cherry and strawberry are echoed on the palate, with delicate and lingering fruit flavours. Silky tannins give the wine good weight.
BC Wine Studio. Mark Simpson was pouring 2012 Petit Verdot, 2012 Merlot and 2013 Malbec. Siren’s Call Petit Verdot was almost back in hue with a beautiful floral aroma, full-bodied and with great fruit concentration. The wine is full on the palate and the finish lingers. The lightly oaked Merlot is sourced from Anarchist Mountain where the cropping is low at around only 3 Tons per acre and this makes for a full bodied wine.
Black Cloud Winery. Bradley Cooper and Audralee Daum were pouring a Fleuvage and Altostratus Pinot Noirs and a Rose. Both Pinots are first class and the new vintage 2015 Pinot based Red Sky Rose was excellent with cherry & strawberry notes. Altostratus has black cherry and blackberry swirl around vanilla liquor, baking spices, cedar, leather and rose petals. The flavours are raspberry, coffee, cocoa layered with sun-ripened berry fruits, tobacco and dried herbs. The palate is quite firm, the tannins youthful.
Black Market Wine Company. Rob Hammersley was pouring the Syndicate red, which is a super Bordeaux style blend, the Secret Society white and their new release 2015 Collusion, a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc/ 40% Sémillon. The grapes for the blend come from Road 20 in Oliver on the west side of the valley. This block is ideally located for morning sun which helped to mitigate the aggressive ripening seen in the 2015 vintage. The Sémillon was aged in a new French oak puncheon for 4 months to give it some creaminess on the texture to soften the Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc was tank fermented and aged. This elegant creamy white has good acid levels for food with a crisp orange blossom, caramelized citrus and grapefruit, a beautiful fragrance, medium to full body and nicely integrated oak.
Marichel Vineyard is a small artisan winery on the Naramata Bench owned by Richard Roskell, who is also the winemaker. Wines available were their 2015 Viognier, a 2015 Syrah rose, 2012 Syrah with Viognier and their award winning 2010 Syrah which is an excellent wine that spent 20 months in oak. Big and bold, the meaty and berry flavours with pepper on the finish.
NightHawk Vineyards is located on Green Lake, near Okanagan Falls. Daniel & Christy Bibby were pouring 2012 Syrah 2012 Merlot, and 2015 Rosé, 2014 Gewürztraminer, 2014 Viognier. The pinot noir grapes for the rosé were hand harvested and hand sorted, followed by a whole berry gravity “crush”. The free run juice had minimal skin contact, and after fermentation was racked into stainless tanks where it was cold stabilized, filtered and bottled. A crisp and lively wine with hints of raspberry, rhubarb and a kiss of French Oak.
Phasion Estate Wines. 2014 Iridescent Pinot Gris starts with aromas of lemon zest, green apples, and stone peaches. The palate offers notes of zesty lime, pears, and minerals while finishing off with hints of lemon pepper. 2013 Chardonnay starts with aromas of lemon meringue, melon, ginger ale, and coconut. The palate offers tropical notes of pineapple, papaya, and candied lemon, while finishing off with hints of vanilla and gingerbread. This wine pairs well with a variety of poultry, pasta, and seafood dishes.
Roche Wines Dylan Roche was pouring their 2014 Pinot Gris, 2014 Pinot Noir and 2015 Rosé. The Rosé was hand harvested and pressed gently, this vivid colour is the result of just 3 hours in contact with skins. 93% Zweigelt and 7% Schonberger were co-fermented in stainless steel to preserve the freshness and exuberance of aromas. The Pinot Gris whole bunches were gently pressed and free run juice was settled overnight and taken straight to barrel. Fermentation was completed over two months in neutral French oak barrels. The wine remained on lees in barrel for a total of ten months.
Sources: Thanks to Valerie Stride for the comments she shared on twitter and Dianne Chow for the photos she shared on Facebook.