8th Generation Wines Coming of Age

The last time I tasted an 8th Generation wine was when I met owners Bernd and Stephanie Schales at this year’s Playhouse Wine Fest. I loved their riesling and pinot meunier rosé. The pinot noir and syrah not so much. But then, they are first generation Canadians from three hundred years of German winemaking stock. These folks know their aromatic wines. I’m sure that someday, when their vineyards have aged, they and the 9th generation kids in this photo will produce reds as rich as their whites.

When I walked over to Taylorwood Wines yesterday, expecting a mixed bag of summer reds, I was delighted to find an array of 8th Generation whites at the bar.

First, what a difference a label makes. The older label, with its cursive white type and coat of arms on a black background, borrows a lot from old world stylings.

The new label, a bold, black 8 tilting on a stark white field screams hip and implies that this is not your papa’s 18th Century winery. Good move.

The Pinot Gris 2007 has beautiful aromatics of apple and pear. The same luscious fruits feel a little sweet on the palate but there is good acidity to prevent cloying. A long zesty finish has hints of butterscotch, due to the partial oak treatment.

The 2007 Chardonnay had a similar mouthfeel and effect, but with a tropical fruit profile. Lots of tangerine, pineapple and banana. Some oak came through on the finish, but not overwhelmingly.

Today, Quinn Diepold of Quaff Wines and Spirits had two rieslings open, the 2006 and 2007. Similar citric fruit between them, but the 2006 showed more petrol on the nose and the finish was cleaner and drier. The 2007 tasted tarter, sweeter and had less acidity. Neither I would kick out of bed in the morning, as they are both tempting breakfast wines.

Of the five wines, only the 2008 Pinot Meunier Rosé was sporting the new label. The wine offers delightfully appealing notes of ripe strawberry from the first whiff all the way through to the slightly sweet finish. I loved it and I’m not the biggest rosé fan. It feels fresh and crisp in the mouth, making it perfect for summertime sipping. This was the bottle I carried home and I plan to have it the next time we order take out sushi.

Wine sluts, please check out my other blog at Everything Wine. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I post about everything to do with wine, and occasionally I actually show up in the store. I hope to be there next Friday for their Solstice Wine event.

And speaking of Summer Solstice, I’m wondering: what does a druid drink?

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.