Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Blue Grouse Vineyards 2004 Ortega, Estate (Vancouver Island)

Blue Grouse Vineyards

2004 Ortega, Estate
(Vancouver Island)

Made by many wineries on Vancouver Island, Ortega is emerging as an appellation flagship white wine varietal. The variety is a German-developed cross of Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe. It succeeds because it ripens almost as early as Siegerrebe but with a lively acidity that, in some vintages, gives Ortega an almost Sauvignon Blanc zestiness.

The variety’s potential was first noted in a provincially-backed grapegrowing trial in the 1980s, called the Duncan Project because it was carried out in the Zanatta vineyard near Duncan. Vigneti Zanatta, the first modern-era Vancouver Island winery, opened in 1992 with Ortega in its portfolio. Blue Grouse opened a year later and Ortega has been among its wines ever since.

The Blue Grouse 2004 Ortega mixes earthiness and spice in its aromas. On the palate, there are flavours of spicy melons, with good weight. The wine finishes dry but with enough fruitiness to appeal to off-dry consumers as well. 84 points.

Reviewed December 14, 2006 by John Schreiner.

Other reviewed wines from Blue Grouse Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: Blue Grouse Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Ortega
Appellation: Vancouver Island
Grape: Ortega
Price: 750ml $15.00

Review Date: 12/14/2006

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.