Wine Man: Minimalist wines, most style

Province wine columnist James Nevison.

Jason Payne / PROVINCE

The Wine Man affords up three ‘pure wines’ which might be made with the Earth in thoughts however nonetheless style nice

So I missed Earth Day by per week, however then once more each day ought to be Earth Day, proper? In any occasion, the event has had me contemplating the state of earth-friendly wine.


At first blush this may appear to be an oxymoron, however like all fashionable agriculture, grape rising and winemaking may be fairly a sophisticated, technological — and sure industrial — affair. And simply as a rising refrain of shoppers is displaying take care of the provenance of their meals, extra wine lovers are listening to how their wine is made.

However whereas I don’t have sufficient house to wade into the entire “pure wine” debate, I’ll as an alternative suggest the notion of minimalist wine, a camp through which all three of this week’s bottles fall.

La Pépière 2018 La Pépiè Cabernet Franc, France ($22, #570168)


Don’t get me flawed, the “minimalist” modifier under no circumstances suggests minimal flavour. Quite the opposite, these wines all shine with character and aptitude. Somewhat, minimalist is an strategy to grape rising and winemaking — as in no chemical or synthetic inputs and minimal intervention, which truly finally ends up requiring most work within the winery! It’s an strategy Marc Ollivier hews to at his area within the Nantes area of the Loire Valley. Organically grown, hand-harvested, fermented with ambient yeast and bottled with out filtration, this free-run solely Cabernet Franc is recent, juicy, gentle, peppery, and easily a pleasure to sip with most meals.

Backside line: B+, Textbook vin de soif

Niepoort 2017 Drink Me Nat Cool Bairrada, Portugal ($26.49 For 1L, obtainable at choose wine shops)


Admittedly, this one caught me aback after I noticed it on the cabinets. Unusual label however acquainted identify, venerable Port Home and vineyard Niepoort’s new Nat Cool line includes a enjoyable label and an outsized 1-Litre bottle. Purposefully aiming for “ … gentle and easy-to-drink wines,” this Nat Cool hails from BaIrraida and options the area’s conventional Baga grape. Hand-picked and bottled unfiltered after seeing no time in oak, within the glass this vivid purple throws black cherry and herbs, with a easy, balanced and juicy profile general. It is a enjoyable, easygoing purple — a wine that pairs simply with many a meal, from roast pork to pizza.

Backside line: B, Attempt serving barely chilled

Scout Winery 2018 Pores and skin Contact Riesling, British Columbia ($26, obtainable via the vineyard and at choose wine shops)


The minimalist wine idea has additionally discovered favour in native wineries. Similkameen Valley newcomer Scout Winery was began by 4 buddies who “share a dream to make minimalist, farm-driven wines.” This implies contemplating biodiversity and the complete ecosystem of their farm, and within the particular case of their lip-smacking Pores and skin Contact Riesling: “Nothing taken away or added besides 10 ppm sulphur earlier than bottling for stability.” That mentioned, a lot care has been added: spontaneous fermentation, 7-14 days on the skins, complete cluster, adopted by a mild press into clay qvevri and impartial oak barrels. The top result’s energetic, partaking, and a examine in textural tannins.

Backside line: A-, Partaking and lip-smacking!

The Swirl: Digital Reside Tastings

I proceed to be impressed by the ingenuity of wineries, breweries, and distillers alike as they do their greatest to make physically-distancing social. One of many cool and artistic developments is dwell, interactive tastings held by way of Instagram. For instance, Vancouver’s Unusual Fellows Brewing has brewmaster Iain Hill internet hosting Digital Comfortable Hours (@strangefellowsbrewing), whereas Duncan’s Blue Grouse Vineyard has winemaker Bailey Williamson main TGIF Tastings (@BlueGrouseWines). So you’ll want to test the social media feeds of your favorite potable producers to get interactive and lift a glass!