Although the 1970s and ‘80s saw Covert fostering nearly two hundred acres of hybrid grapes to yield wines with names such as “White Diamond,” today is a much different story. Gone is the “Okanagan Riesling” in favour of much more exotic (and palatable) white varieties such as Semillon, Viognier, and Roussanne. Thanks to some digging through the cellar by Derek, we had the opportunity to enjoy a four year vertical of the Amicitia White blend following the newest 2014 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon, a fuller-bodied, mineral and citrus presentation of traditional grassy Sauvignon Blanc.
A small percentage of both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is included in the Amicitia but this rare blend is predominantly Rhone whites, with Roussanne unexpectedly leading the way over and above Viognier’s smaller contribution. Although a handful of 2007 and 2009 Amicitia was discovered at the winery, it was terrible in Derek’s honest opinion; but some unlabelled 2008 made it through the years intact. As a result we were able to compare a relatively aged version with the more recent 2012-2014 vintages. Oxidative character was readily apparent in the golden, straw-coloured older wine, with an intensely flavoured, viscous palate present upon tasting. The younger vintages showed Roussanne’s strong influence, presenting stone fruit flavours amongst hints of greenery and even petrol, with a similar generous body.
The Amicitia Red blend further demonstrated the range of grapes grown in just twenty-five acres, this time assembled into a traditional Bordeaux configuration. The 2013 we tasted reflected an increase in Merlot now that the winery produces varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, bringing together a slim majority of Merlot, plus smaller proportions of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. A nicely balanced, fruit forward, and understandably complex medley of juicy fruit was the result; perfect with the selection of Les Amis du Fromage cheeses and charcuterie available on the side.
Contributors: Russell Ball
I'm a fan of great local wine and the passionate people who make it happen! Through the BCWAS and my personal blog Adventures in BC Wine I aim to share news about the fine wines and wineries of my home province, and my experiences exploring them with family and friends. Follow me on Twitter @RussellBall
Contributors: Kristal Kaulbach
I am very pleased to have been part of BCWAS almost right from the beginning – my first event was BCWAS’s third tasting, and I’ve been involved ever since! I am thrilled with all the support that we have from all of the wonderful owners and winemakers in our beautiful province, and of course, BCWAS couldn’t exist without you. Cheers, and see you at the next tasting!