692 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
Edelzwicker wines. This Alsatian wine term is taken from the German
words edel (noble) and zwicker (blend). It dates back to 1644 and is now often
a “field blend” of different white varietals (with the grapes of those different
varieties being crushed and fermented together rather than apart with later
blending). Auxerrois is also an important component of Crémant d’Alsace,
the region’s sparkling wine.
In B.C., Gray Monk in Lake Country and Gehringer Brothers on the
Golden Mile between Oliver and Osoyoos were instrumental in the 1980s in
bringing this and a number of other Alsace and German varieties to the
province, and each has made Auxerrois one of its signature wines.
GEHRINGER BROTHERS OLD VINES AUXERROIS 2017
BC VQA Okanagan #171496 $14.49
From vines that are over 30 years old, this is a great sipper on its own or
with some pre-meal appies. The nose displays white peach, apple, lemonlime
and mineral (wet stone) notes. On the palate is a mix of ripe melon,
peach, mango, a bit of apple, more lemon and some white grapefruit rind.
The slightly off-dry finish is clean and lifted and a great bargain. The alcohol
level is 12.7 per cent. It will go well with a chicken or seafood salad or
scallops in a cream sauce.
To quote prominent Canadian wine writer Beppi Crosariol, “one of the
most widely planted grapes in Spain, a country with the world’s largest
acreage under vine, is a grape you’ve never heard of. Or maybe you have.
In which case, congratulations. Bobal deserves more people like you.”3
Crosariol describes the grape’s appeal as follows: “The red variety yields
full-bodied, intensely fruity wines, the sort that taste good on their own, but
that also marry well with a wide range of dishes thanks to that vibrant acidity
and spicy punch. Think of soft Grenache mixed with peppery Syrah
mixed with racy Nebbiolo.”4
Bobal is a vinifera variety used in winemaking in Spain for over 500
years. It is native to the Utiel-Requena region in Valencia. The name derives
from the Latin bovale, in reference to the shape of a bull’s head. It is grown
predominantly in the Utiel-Requena DO where it represents about ninety
per cent of all vines grown, and is also present in significant quantities in
Valencia, Cuenca and Albacete. It is most commonly grown as a low bush
(en vaso) and less often on trellises (en espaldera). I have included two examples,
as a lush red and as a crisp rosé.