Canadian Bubbly Eh? Averill Creek Vancouver Island Sparkling Wine Review #3

OK! Ok! So our venture into wines from Vancouver Island VQA’s has drawn up bracingly tart Chardonnay (read here) and wild Gamay (read here). They have been real, reflective, but not great.

Maybe cool climate Burgundy and Beaujolais are not harsh enough models. Let us look to Champagne, to bubbly, to where fizz makes high acid wine magical.

The winery Averill Creek is pretty big for the island: 30 planted acres. Since 2001, they do everything right, Guyot planting, warm, south facing vineyards, 2.5 tons per acre, gravity flow winery. They make a bubbly of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. To get the fizz, the Charmat (aka Prosecco) method keeps things young, fresh, and clean.

Averill Creek, Charme de L’ile, Vancouver Island, CA NV $23CA

Averill Creek Sparkling Wine

Averill’s Charme de L’ile looks right: pale clear straw color, full of vibrant rapid medium sized bubbles. It smells promising and prosecco-like enough: clean lemon rind, grapefruit, and pale honey aromas abound. But the acidity sears off enamel and any saliva left hiding between tastebuds. A rapid, steely fizz does not help, instead it chews through any fat or protein we throw at it. Our armament of local cheeses and chips disappears decimated by all the acidity.

Averill Creek’s bubbly, albeit bracing, is still a valiant effort and good (3 of 5). I imagine some time on the lees via the traditional method, or a partial malolactic ferment might make it more amiable. Still, with a few breaks between glasses, this can be enjoyed.

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