Terravista Vineyards Figaro label portrays a dancing, glass art figurine—and captures the essence of these vibrant blends

One of the more intriguing winners in this year’s Lieutenant Governor Awards line-up is the well crafted, southern Rhone inspired Road 13 Jackpot White 2011, which artfully blends Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne (mainly from Similkameen) for a luscious, layered honey and stonefruit toned drop ($29).

As BC’s industry continues to mature, more winemakers are exploring different paths, often exploring with varietals and blends that, while perhaps not that common here, are indeed well proven in other parts of the wine world.

One pioneer is Inniskillin Okanagan’s Sandor Mayer, whose Discovery Series has included Marsanne-Roussanne, Tempranillo and Pinotage, among others. We’ll also be watching, with interest, Stag’s Hollow as they pursue Albariño (along with Dolcetto and Tempranillo).

All this is by way of an introduction to Terravista Vineyards, founded by former Black Hills Estate owners Bob and Senka Tennant. After a brief respite following the sale of Black Hills, they purchased a south west facing, rocky slope of on the Naramata Bench on which to build a new winery—and pursue their passion (among others) for Albarino and Verdejo, two varieties whose roots on the Iberian peninsular may be traced back several centuries.

Their inaugural, 2011 Fandango Albarino-Verdejo blend sports a lively floral and citrus nose, followed by a zest and apple toned palate wrapped in juicy acidity that cries out for cold cuts, grilled chicken or firm cheeses (91 pts, $25).

We love the point of difference offered by this wine, as we do their 2011 Figaro that blends Roussanne and Viognier  in a mouth-filling, lengthy pear toned drop (90 pts, $23).

Unquestionably, The Tennants—who were trailblazers on the BC wine scene when they originally launched Black Hills Nota Bene and Alibi as premium, stand alone blends—look well set to repeat their success.

Also not to be overlooked are the unique and distinctive labels (which really do convey the character of the wines) based on Jan Bell-Irving’s glass art figurines. Find the wines (and figurines) at the winery, www.terravistavineyards.com

Speaking of intriguing blends, check out Intrigue 11, a well-made value-priced, apple toned and juicy tasting combo of Riesling, Gewurz and Muscatel (88 pts; $14.90) from talented Gray Monk assistant winemaker (and long-time Riesling specialist) Roger Wong, who now has his own winery and tasting room nearby, Intrigue Wines. www.intriguewines.ca More on Roger’s Rieslings in coming weeks …

from North Shore News