There is something wonderful about pausing to appreciate the world around you. A quiet, winter night going to the International Wine Festival, dotted with lights of Canada Place. The fragrant smell of wine, the flavours forged by age, the distant smiles and conversations of people in the showroom.

rhone around the world vancouver wine festival 2019

Rhône grapes originate from France, but are now being grown across the wine landscape. Rhône Around the World allowed me try wines from Australia to North America’s West Coast to Spain and, of course, the Rhône Valley. Moderated by mark Shipway and Jon Bonné, the panelists included Ross Baker, Donal Black, Frédéric Chaudière, Bernard Duseigneur, Bodhi Edwards, Garron Elmes, Loren Gil, Matt Herde, Sam Holmes, and Austin Hope.

rhone around the world vancouver wine festival 2019

I’ve listed some of my favourites first and foremost below:

My favorite: Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier 2017
This was a beautiful and elegant white wine. It seems simple first – the taste is fleeting, almost not detectable on the first refreshing sip. But there it is, blossoming on your tongue like the moment after a kiss. The aroma is part of the experience – let the sweet apricot, cardamom, ginger and white pepper waft into your nostrils. And on the tongue, the flavour is light but complex: a bit of ginger spice, a sour but bready texture, but finished with apricot and almond. Where you start with this wine is not where you end, I never experienced such a mellow-starting but flavourful journey of wine prior to tasting this wine.

Château de la Tuilerie Cuvée Eole Costières-de-Nîmes – Rouge 2016
Full-bodied, deep and complex, though smooth to drink, warms the mouth. This drink tasted of red fruit, the scent like dried-fruit. I do not like the punch of tannins, but this wine was well balanced with its heavier notes like the pepper and slight earthy note.

Domaine Duseigneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape Catarina 2016
Velvety and smooth, rich ruby tones. Well balanced between the dark fruit, spices and pepper notes, sweet on the nose with hints of cherry. Lingers on your palate, wetting the palate.

Château Pesquié Artemia AOC Ventoux 2016
Aromatic. I closed my eyes, took a breath and imagined myself walking along a trail with blackberry bushes, sun warm on my back. The balanced flavour between fruit and old grenache gave this syrah that warms the palate.

The other wines were fantastic, but these were the most memorable. The other wines also are not as high priced as the ones listed above.

The other wines:

Chapel Hill Winery The Vicar Shiraz 2016
Tahbilk Winery ‘Museum Release’ Marsanne 2011
Quails’ Gate Winery Boswell Syrah 2015
Lake Breeze Vineyards Rousane VQA 2017
Ogier Héritages Crozes-Hermitage 2014
Gil Family Estates Atteca Armas 2016
Hope Family Wines Treana Blanc 2015
Wines of Substance MCK (Motor City Kitty) Syrah 2015