- BC Games
TASTING NOTES: New JoieFarm wines? It must be spring
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the sun has been shining since I tasted the new releases from British Columbia’s JoieFarm winery — that annual tasting is always the first sign of spring in my world.
Owned and operated by former Vancouverites Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn (with Robert Thielicke assisting in both the vineyards and winery), JoieFarm has been a critical and commercial darling around town for nine years now. Not only do the wines offer fantastic value and express the Okanagan’s sunny, mineral-rich “terroir” with crisp acidity and grace, but the whole line-up pairs well with the way we eat in this part of the world, from seafood and vegetable-centric dishes, to Asian cuisines and more.
The 2012 vintage is now in the books as an excellent one overall in B.C., and JoieFarm’s wines share that long, bright summer just in time for this year’s warmer weather. All of the wines here can be ordered direct from the winery (JoieFarm.com) at the prices below, but tack on couple bucks when shopping in local stores.
JoieFarm 2012 Un-Oaked Chardonnay | $22.90
There’s a nice weight to this year’s edition, perhaps a wee bit heavier than those in the past. This isn’t a negative thing; it just adds a richness that will make the wine stand up to bolder flavours such as barbecued chicken, South Indian curries and more. Preserved lemon and mandarin orange with a few flecks of basil and sage.
JoieFarm 2012 A Noble Blend | $23.90
This is Heidi and Mike’s flagship wine, and aromatic blend of Alsatian varietals including riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc and more. The ultra-fragrant nose is ridiculously pretty, with lychee, rose petal and perfumed citrus. On the palate, a bunch of kiwi and guava come tumbling in with a little splash of lemonade at the end. There’s a bit more richness in this year’s Noble Blend too, which makes it perfect for spicy Korean and Thai dishes.
JoieFarm 2012 Riesling | $22.90
Whenever I’m teaching a beginner’s wine seminar, I always like to clarify that the wines we’re talking about are made from 100 per cent grapes, that when we say a wine has notes of “peaches” or ‘“lime,” those fruits are not actually in the wine. It’s just that we’re talking about flavour characteristics that the particular grape carries. I bring this up now because there are so many ripe, juicy pears in this wine that you might think they’re an ingredient! This is certainly a dry and crisp Riesling, but we’re talking the most juicy and charming of Bosc, Bartlett and Asian pears around. Lovely.
JoieFarm 2012 Rosé | $20.90
It wouldn’t be summer in Vancouver unless copious amounts of JoieFarm Rosé were being enjoyed throughout the day and every day across the city. This year’s version is composed mainly of pinot noir and gamay, and don’t let that super-sweet strawberry shortcake nose fool you; sip after sip, it’s as refreshing, dry and crisp as you’re hoping for. An Okanagan harvest of plums, cherries, blackberries and peaches. Pairs with almost anything, particularly fish and poultry. Word to the wise: always keep a back-up bottle in the fridge, those opportunities come quite often on hot days.