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Wine Guy: Spring heralds the arrival of 2021 white and rose wines

The Wine Guy offers up three new releases of white and rose wines from B.C.

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It’s the most exciting time of the wine year. Or, at least one of the two main exciting times.

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As a general rule, new wines are released during spring and fall. The spring release heralds the arrival of fresh, new vintage whites and roses — while reds tend to start trickling in during autumn. Thus we’ve officially entered new release season, and in this case we’re referring to the launch of 2021 white and rosé wines.

So here are three recent local arrivals, with more, and more, B.C. bottles to follow in the weeks ahead.

Hester Creek 2021 Old Vine Pinot Blanc, British Columbia ($17.99, available through the winery)

If authenticity registers in your wine consideration, then there’s no need to look further than this bottle. Hester Creek is an original Okanagan Valley wine player, and when they label their Pinot Blanc “Old Vine” it represents real street cred. The grapes for this bottle come from a vineyard planted in 1968, which represents a verifiable — and symbolic — agricultural lifetime. Whole berry pressed and undergoing cool stainless steel fermentation, this extroverted white throws aromas of flowers, lemon, and pith. This mid-weight white nicely represents the Golden Mile Bench thanks to its approachable, mellow and fruity stance, making an easy pairing companion for fish, shellfish, or grilled poultry. 

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Bottom line: B, Versatile white

Lock & Worth Winery 2021 Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon, British Columbia ($24.65, available through the winery and select private stores)

From old to new, or at least relatively recent — to be fair Lock & Worth has plied their wines for some years now. But since day one the focus has been steady: “Honest, single vineyard wines of time and place — priced for everyday consumption.” For the just released, latest incarnation of their perennial go-to Naramata Bench-grown Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend this means a tad more rambunctious, savoury sensations. We’re talking herbs, citrus pith, and an inherent greenness to complement peach and citrus fruit. It’s an easy, fun style overall that makes for versatile food pairing — think impromptu picnic, pretty much a patio and anything right from the grill or takeout containers.

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Bottom line: A-, Ripping white

Sandhill Wines 2021 Rosé, British Columbia ($20.99, #583351)

One of the first 2021 rosés out of the gate hails from venerable Kelowna-based Sandhill Wines. Again sporting a fetching, curvaceous amphora-referencing bottle, the new vintage is a blend of Merlot and Gamay Noir from two vineyards — Sandhill Estate and Rocky Ridge. Pouring a pale pink, it throws gregarious red berry, melon, and earthy aromas before providing a cherry kiss in a fruity and fresh style overall. With evident residual sugars, this jovial pink wine is both smooth and approachable — an easy partner with friends and sunsets, ideally served alongside pizza or even an antipasti spread.

Bottom line: B+, Cheery rosé

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The Swirl: B.C. Distilled Festival

B.C. Distilled, the province’s premier artisan distillery festival started in 2014, is back. On Saturday, B.C. Distilled returns to the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver) to celebrate and highlight British Columbia’s craft distilleries.

Thirty distilleries and exhibitors will be attending this year’s main festival room, which has been separated into two smaller, lower capacity events. Tickets to either the 3 p.m. afternoon tasting or the 6:30 p.m. evening tasting are $79.03 (inclusive of taxes and fees). For complete information head to bcdistilled.ca. 

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