Wines of Mexico

11 Apr

WoM Fest 2009 @ the Met in Vancouver - Olé!

The 2009 Wines of Mexico Fest took place on Thursday, April 2 2009 at the Metropolitan Hotel. The tasting gave Vancouverites an opportunity to try some of the best wines from our sunny southern neighbour.

Mexico has been producing wine for more than five centuries. In recent years the quality of Mexican wines has attracted international attention, and Mexico has won medals in many prestigious international competitions including the Challenge International de Vin, California’s Orange County Fair, and the Selections Mondiales. The Wines of Mexico Fest in Vancouver will showcase wines from select Mexican wineries, including Monte Xanic, Bodegas de Santo Tomas, and L.A. Cetto.

The Monte Xanic winery prides itself on being a pioneer in winemaking process and technology. It is located in Mexico’s most prestigious winemaking region, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California. The winery’s methods produce premium and ultra-premium wines that perfectly express the terroir of this exquisite area.

Bodegas de Santo Tomas, founded in 1888, has been producing wine longer than any other winery currently operating in Mexico. The first vines in the Santo Thomas Valley were planted by Dominican missionaries who settled the Baja area around 1697. Bodegas de Santo Tomas is well-known on the international stage for its high-quality wines.


Two standout wines from WoM 2009:unico-crop

Bodegas de Santo Tomas
Unico Cabernet Merlot Gran Reserva 2004
Baja California, Mexico
approx. $110 (not yet available in BC)

Santo Tomas makes some of Mexico’s best and most expensive wines. Unico, a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, is a big, concentrated wine that exhibits characteristics of high quality wines from both California and Spain. The nose is intense and complex, with red and black fruits, mineral, leather, coffee and spice. The palate is both rich and bright, with sour cherry and raspberry jam, earth and spicy cinnamon-cocoa. The finish is persistent, with fine but grippy tannins. An excellent wine, but a hard sell at the probable BC price of over $100. It’s fantastic that Mexican houses are producing ultra-premium wine, but consumers may not be willing to gamble on Mexican wine at ultra-premium prices. 92 pointsxanic-cab-merlot

Monte Xanic
Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot 2005
Guadalupe Valley, Baja California, Mexico
approx. $30 (not yet available in BC)

This red blend from Monte Xanic was one of the many surprises at the Wines of Mexico fair, held April 2 in Vancouver. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, the wine has an intense nose of cassis, cherry cola, licorice, smoke and mineral. The palate is big and round, with sweet dark berries, chocolate, espresso and long, spicy tannins. This is a very well put-together wine, with all the hallmarks of a high-quality California Cabernet blend. I just hope they price them reasonably for release in this market – Mexican wines will be a hard sell, regardless of their quality. 90 points


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