August 4, 2020

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Radio personality was a voice for wine

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/4/2015 (1935 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

While you may have known him best as the voice behind CBC Radio 2 program Disc Drive, which ran from 1985 to 2008, Jurgen Gothe was also an enthusiastic wine writer. His Uncorked column (no, I wasn't the first) appeared from 1997 to 2014 in Vancouver's Georgia Straight, and he also wrote about wine for the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail, among others.

Gothe died on April 9 at the age of 70 after battling cancer.

Gothe was a particularly vocal advocate for B.C. wines, and was a much-beloved figure among Okanagan producers and those in the wine industry. "Rest, Jurgen. The B.C. wine industry owes a tremendous debt to you," tweeted Tinhorn Creek CEO Sandra Oldfield, while decorated Ontario wine writer Tony Aspler echoed that statement, tweeting "Rest in peace, my old friend Jurgen Gothe. A great broadcaster but above all a great wine writer."


Congratulations to David De Leeuw for winning the Winehouse's third Manitoba Wine-Tasting Championship. De Leeuw beat out five other finalists to win the championship on April 9 which, along with bragging rights, earned him an all-in dinner for four (with wine) at Deer + Almond.

De Leeuw's win is impressive -- he's the only entrant to make the final all three years, is not employed in the wine industry (he's a real estate agent) and is a repeat champion -- he won the first competition as well.


What's 4,300 kilometres long, about 300 kilometres wide and pumps out some killer wines at a great price point?

Well, it's Chile, of course -- the country which I'm currently visiting. I'm on a refresher/familiarization trip courtesy of Wines of Chile in advance of this year's Winnipeg Wine Festival, whose theme region this year is -- you guessed it -- Chile.

Since I wrote this before leaving Winnipeg, I can't yet comment on changes and innovations I've seen in Chilean winemaking since my last visit way back in November 2008. More on that in next week's column, which will be well-timed, what with the Winnipeg Wine Festival's ancillary events beginning that weekend. Twitter: @bensigurdson

Concha Y Toro 2013 Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay (Limari Valley, Chile -- $13.07, Liquor Marts and beyond)


Ripe red-apple, peach, mango, lemon-rind and lighter vanilla notes are quite pleasant on the nose of this Limari Valley Chardonnay. There's some nice creaminess to this medium-bodied white, with enough crisp apple, lemon-rind and fresh peach flavours as well as modest acidity to keep things balanced. A very good example of Chardonnay from a cooler region of northern Chile. Try with chicken souvlaki or other Greek fare. 3-1/2 stars


Luis Felipe Edwards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley, Chile -- $13.60, Liquor Marts and beyond)


Cassis, mint, blackberry, white pepper and anise notes are pleasant on the nose of this Central Valley red. It's a medium-bodied, fairly simple Cabernet Sauvignon that brings plenty of fruit on the palate -- mainly cassis, blackberry, plum and blueberry -- without too much tannin or big wood. An easy-drinking Cabernet that would work with pizza or burgers. 2-1/2

Carmen 2013 Wave

Series Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley, Chile -- $13.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)

This wine comes from Leyda Valley, a small sub-region of the San Antonio Valley that's relatively close to the Pacific coast and pretty much straight west of Santiago. Bright aromas of dried cherry, raspberry candy, cola, plum and black tea are pretty on the nose. It's a light-bodied, delicate Pinot Noir, with cherry and cola flavours (but not cherry cola) as well as black tea, white-pepper and raspberry notes. Well done -- try with milder salmon dishes. 3-1/2


Vi±a Chocal°n 2013 Selecciòn Carmenère (Maipo Valley, Chile -- around $17, private wine stores)


Deep garnet in colour, this Carmenère brings blackberry, eucalyptus, herbal, leather and chocolate notes on the nose. It's a chewy, medium-plus bodied red that delivers loads of ripe fruit -- namely blackberry, blackcurrant and plum -- with secondary herbal and eucalyptus notes and an underlying dark-chocolate note. An approachable, balanced red. Would work well with ribs or spicy pizza. 3-1/2


Caliterra Tributo 2010 Limited Edition Carmenère Malbec

(Colchagua Valley, Chile -- $22.99, Liquor Marts and beyond)


A blend of 65 per cent Carmenère, 32 per cent Malbec and a pinch of Petit Verdot, this big Chilean red wallops you with chocolate, bell pepper, blackberry, raspberry and eucalyptus notes. It's full-bodied and chewy, with dark-chocolate and herbal flavours balanced by raspberry, plum and blueberry flavours. But things are roughed up a bit by big vanilla notes and tannins from a fair bit of oak. Drink with steak to tame the tannins. 3-1/2


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