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Michael K

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WTN: Wine travels to Vancouver Island (Church & State Winery)

by Michael K » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:07 pm

This year has been one where I've tried to go to as many winery areas as I can with my travels. Some are very far off the beaten path and have been enjoyable for me for the travel if not for the wines. So far this year, the areas include

(1) Napa
(2) Sonoma
(3) Lodi
(4) Santa Barbera and area
(5) Niagara
(6) New York Finger Lakes
(7) Greece (Santorini Island)
(8.) Hawaii Island

and the 9th region this year is Vancouver Island, north of Victoria (actually within sight of the airport and just around the corner from Bouchard Garden). I went to the Church and State Winery and tried 5 wines (actually I went to a few more but they were closed and it was getting close to the last flight off the island...having missed the four previous flights). The winery is located in the middle of a small vineyard and has a massive log structure with a beautiful log interior. Lots of money was certainly spent on the building...now onto the wines. Notes are below.

2006 Church and State Viognier, pretty simple and sweet nose, very pale, hint of floral but overcome by ethanol. Tasted very strong of alcohol.

2005 Church Mouse (lower priced line) Pinot Noir, pale brick/reddish in colour. Very strong wood nose with little fruit coming through. Strawberry on taste, off dry, simple but not balanced, very little to go back to.

2005 Church and State Syrah Saddle Ridge. Nose was a bit muted, dark fruit fighting strong perfumey, cedary wood, though there is a very nice texture to the wines, smooth and round, juicy and dry. Acceptable but not at price around $30.

2005 Church and State Syrah Lot 285. Solid Syrah, nice dark deep purple garnet, good texture and mouthfeel, integrated wood with taste of dark fruits, fading into a prune at the end. Again decent but moving up in price again, around $35.

2002 Pinot Noir Ice Wine
Pretty salmon in colour, nice mid-level sweetness for a dessert wines, more like an Oakanagan Late Harvest Riesling level., High tone, high acidity, hints of strawberry but mostly just sweet.

It was only after the tasting that I found out that the winery was located on Vancouver Island, surrounded by immature vines and .... all the grapes were shipped in from the Oakanagan........ D@mn..... I thought I was tasting Vancouver Island wine and as such, I thought that I would give them some slack in the way the wines were as the vineyards would have been fairly new. Especially since they spent all that money on the building, I would have through that they would have saved some for making the wine...oh well...next time.

Regardless, pretty site (right across from Bouchard Garden), very nice staff and a nice departure from the standard day to day meetings. Next on target will the the wineries near the Fraser Valley near Vancouver...hopefully within a couple of weeks.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Wine travels to Vancouver Island (Church & State Winery)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:16 pm

Great post, Mike. Church and State is one of the island wineries that seems to be making a nice name for itself on the mainland. In the past two or three months Canadian friends have poured me one of the syrahs (not sure, but I believe it was the Saddle Ridge) and a dandy little rose of pinot noir.

p.s. Btw, since this is really more about wine than the island, I hope it's all right with you if I move it back to the main wine section.
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Michael K

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Re: WTN: Wine travels to Vancouver Island (Church & State Winery)

by Michael K » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:14 pm

Thanks, no problems with that!...sorry I'll do that from now on. I'm glad that you had good experiences with them. One of the things I was worried about was how long the bottles had been opened for due to the low crowds around this time of year. I also did not try the Rose that the couple next to me like enough to buy a few bottles.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Wine travels to Vancouver Island (Church & State Winery)

by Jenise » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:46 pm

Mike, I looked up Bill Spohn's note on the Church and State to see which we had, and it's unspecific, but just FYI, here's another wine taster's opinion on one of the two wines you had:

2005 Church and State – made by Bill Dyer, formerly consultant to Burrowing Owl (whose products seem to have become less interesting after he left). Some spice in the fairly ripe nose, a big, sweet soft friendly wine that is ready to drink now.


That, and my own memory of the wine, key word "juicy", makes me say our wine sounds more like your Saddle Ridge.

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