I was invited to the annual portfolio tasting of Icon Fine Wine & Spirits, which represents a huge portfolio of wineries around the world.
There was a lot of wine for tasting and I don’t think I even went through 1/4 of them! After talking to some sales rep and fellow guests, I picked out a few to try and here I’m highlighting what I liked. Keep in mind I’m not a wine expert so this is purely my own personal taste. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of the beer & spirits they represent so this will only focus on wine.
I sampled three sauvignon blanc, of which I most enjoyed the Chateau de Sancerre Blanc. It’s crisp with just an appropriate amount of tang; rather easy drinking for sauvignon blanc. The mineral note in the Lapostolle Casa Sauvignon Blanc was too prominent for my liking.
From left: Lapostolle Casa Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau de Sancerre Blanc, Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc
For red wines, I prefer fuller body, so I tend to go for something like Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, especially I’m having a nice piece of steak or lamb. Of the following four, I liked the Zorzal Malbec (you can’t really go wrong with Argentinean Malbec) and the smoother finish of the De Martino Legado Syrah. It was interesting to try the organic Cab Malbec from Neuvo Mundo but it just didn’t taste right for me.
From left: Nuevo Mundo Organico Cabernet Malbec Reserve, Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon, De Martino Legado Syrah, Zorzal Malbec
Then, the medal stickers caught my eyes and lured me to try the following two. Again, they were Cab blends. Johnny Q’s Cab Sauvignon has a bit too much tannin for my liking. Relatively speaking, the Shot in the Dark Cab Shiraz has a softer finish.
From left: Shot in the Dark Cabernet Shiraz, Johnny Q Cabernet Sauvignon
Among the international wines, I also tried wines from two local wineries. Saxon Estate Winery has only been around for two years, so it’s quite new to the market. And you can taste it in their wines. There’s definitely potential in them, though. I thought the Four Play (lol) was quite fruity and good for a summer wine.
From left: Saxon Pinot Grigio, Gewurztramminer, Four Play, Rose
The best find for me at the event was 8th Generation Vineyard. The owners have such a long family history in wine-making and wine-growing from Germany, it came as no surprise that their wines tasted good. I tried everything at the table and there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. They produce two types of Rieslings; the Riesling Classic is drier while the other regular Riesling has a sweeter, fruitier note and has aging potential. The two sparkling wines, Integrity (white) and Confidence also tasted fruity and would be good party wines in the summer.
From left: 8th Generation Confidence, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Integrity, Reisling, Reisling Classic.
Overall I was excited about what I tried and I’ll be on the watch for some of my favourites. Definitely going to look for 8th Generation’s wines at private liquor stores!