The 2023 Canada Tasting
Who Needs Maple Syrup With Wines Like These?
‘The High Commission of Canada requested the pleasure of my company’ the invite said. This was taking place at Canada House, overlooking Trafalgar Square. What was not to like or refuse? I packed my wine writing kit and headed in for my second visit to this event.
Last year was quite an eye-opener for me. The year before that I’d been to an event which took place in the basement of some trendy London restaurant, and I'd not been too enthusiastic about the wines on offer, in fact, it nearly put me off ever going near the wines of Canada in future.
Don’t be an imbecile I told myself and went along last year. I’m grateful that I did because the wines and people were both effusive and a pleasure to try, talk with, and to talk about. You can bet I was looking forward to it this year.
As before security was tight. and I had to produce proof of ID, a urine sample and evidence that I was a human being (I had the first, thought I could pass on the third, and thought they were taking the pxxx on the second!).
I didn’t enjoy the heavy security on display, and their dogmatic approach meant that we were slowly dealt with as though we were entering a high security embassy. Come on fellas, think it through and be kind. Who, on this planet would want to harm Canada! We're here to enjoy your wines and give your country a bit of help in the world of wine.
I reasoned, and thought while I waited to get in. If this is like last year, they’ll be too many wines, too many good wines and it will be a trial deciding on the few I always include in my recommendation. It’s a dirty job, so the saying goes.
It was a sunny day, and I’ve always found weather and location conducive when it comes to perking up a tasting before one actually gets near the wines.
There were varieties of every persuasion, but I was having such an enjoyable time with the whites that I stuck around.
It was the same room as last time, and I recognised one or two familiar bottles, but most were new, and this was where I concentrated my efforts. Of course one or two didn’t work, but there were a lot I thought displayed interesting possibilities. I must give a quick namecheck to the owner of 50th Parallel. He makes sterling wines, looks and acts like a rockstar, and was very good company. Well done to you!
I’m starting to view this event as a regular on the calendar, but with such a crowded wine scene, I think the Canadian tasting might need something more to make it stand out, besides the good wines.
Only the best for the Winefullness Readership
Blomidon Estate Winery - Blanc de Blancs 2011
This is 100% Chardonnay, and I was hoping that they might be bringing something new to the table.
The nose is creamy with a little hay in the mix, like falling over in a dairy farm.
The taste was intriguingly rich, and this particular Chardonnay oozed lemon and citrus notes.
5 out of 7
Cloudsley Cellars -Foxcroft Vineyard Chardonnay 2020
Very French tasting and a soothing homage to Burgundy. The fruit is so forward that it kisses the inside of your mouth without even asking!
I waited for a few moments and then there was a sliver of wood, before baskets full of fruit steamrollered for attention.
5 out of 7
Diamond Estate Wines and Spirits - Creekside Iconoclast Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2020
Take a moment to view the wine and that colour is so welcoming, it's almost shaking hands with me.
Take a sniff and you get floral particularly honeysuckle with a side order of fruit that has been squashed underfoot.
5.5 out of 7
Rosewood Estate Winery - White Rabbit 2021
I'm told by the owner that this wine is so popular locally with the restaurant crowd that he can hardly produce enough to keep up with demand.
The colour is so 80's Californian Chardonnay that it could act in 'CHIPS'.
That look is deceptive because there's oodles of grapes here and it's so fruit forward I'm quite surprised, No hint of the barrel I was expecting.
5.5 out of 7
Misson Hill Family Estate - Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022
This starts so delicate it could be writing poetry, and I'm getting ripe green fruit that's been kicked around the orchard. Give it time and my favourite Apple Pie taste grows and is accompanied by a wealth of riches.
I mull over a beguiling acidity and I've got to admit how much I'm enjoying this.
6 out of 7