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The "Domaine de" is (thankfully) gone and the winemaking game has stepped up.
I’ll be honest: for some reason every time I heard the name Domaine de Chaberton, I couldn’t help but think about the faux chateau in the infamous grape lady falls video. But things have been changing of late at the landmark Langley winery, and there’s a new look on most of the bottles like the standout Reserve Siegerebbe and the nice pink-hued Reserve Pinot Gris, both of which check in at a very reasonable $16.25. But their wine that grabs me the most was an odd (in an interesting sort of way) 25th Anniversary Gamay Noir (they love their modifiers here). For starters, the label is different than all the other wines and seems like it was made late one night at a Kinko’s.But what I was really excited about was that it was grown in the Fraser Valley (unlike the Cabernet or Pinot Gris, which use grapes from the Okanagan) and it’s a varietal that can be really interesting in a cool climate. Still better, they’re using only indigenous yeasts without inoculation (which means they’re going for a more natural approach to winemaking) and they’re doing this on a wine that retails for $15.95! The result is a very low-alcohol wine that verges on thin, but has a smoky and savoury note on top of some tart fruit. Somewhat unfortunately, they decided to add oak chips in the wine as it matured (literally the opposite of natural winemaking) so a wine that could have been the deal of the year ends up as simply as a interesting look at what might have been. I still have affection for this wine and for under $16 you’re not going to find a Canadian wine with as much going on in the glass as this.
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