Posts tagged ‘Saturna Island’

August 15, 2017

Sea Star Ortega, 2016

Yesterday we blogged about an overpriced red.  Today we’re posting about a reasonably priced white.  Ah Sea Star.  Ooh la la.  We have blogged pretty much the entire vineyard and gone ga ga over most of the bottles but now it’s time to part: Sea Star has become too popular.  You simply can’t get a hold of it.  Unless you’re in a restaurant.


Luckily, at one of the lesser known cafes in the province, on Saturna Island, chef Hubertus Surm serves a beautiful dinner Saturday nights where he stocks a La Frenz red and a Sea Star white; it’s one or the other or go dry.  That pretty much sums up, in a vinous sense, the southern Gulf Islands in a sentence, LF and SS.


A Siegerrebe Muller-Thurgau blend, the Ortega is definitely the most perfumed and aromatic of Sea Star’s table whites.  There are potent honeyed notes with distinct herbal tangents, like oregano in bloom and a whiff of lavender.  The mouth is gorgeously full and overall the wine is superbly food friendly.  Schreiner (and a few others online) write of the grapefruit, but I found the acidity smooth and the citrus gentler, like ugli fruit or tangelo.  There is a linear infusion of tropical flavours, pineapple guava punch, and a long finish.  As we say over and over again about Sea Star, they are producing the right white wines for the climate and soil and they are doing a helluva job.


Price: $20 at the vineyard, $30 at the Saturna café (kudos to the SC for a less than 100% markup).


Market Liquidity: What joy to drink a drinkable local wine at a decent price.  Hallelujah.

Chef Hubertus Surm turns out a beautiful summer salad at the Saturna Cafe

July 10, 2015

Sea Star Vineyards Siegerrebe, 2014

Sieger what?

Sea Star Vineyards Siegerrebe, 2014

South Pender Island lies along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, abutting the meandering nautical Border Pass which dips below the 49th along the US and Canada. East across Plumper Sound, even further south, is Saturna Island. Both have young-ish vineyards. Sea Star at Pender comes out of the gate with a select selection of light, aromatic, appealing whites at an extremely reasonable price point. Meanwhile Saturna Vineyard sits fallow for the second year in a row. Hence the strange goings on in the BC wine industry; whether to strive for the most common, most loved, most drunk varietals (i.e., as Saturna did, and more or less drain the gas tank doing so) or to simply embrace terroir and go for what’s likely to produce good plonk.


Kudos to Pender. The Siegerrebe is a Gewurtz cross hybrid, something I’ve never knowingly drunk before even though I’ve seen the Gray Monk; it was reminiscent of the first time I sipped Summerhill’s Ehrenfelser. In other words wonderfully different and immediately interesting. The label proclaims light acidity when in fact we found it heavy handed; it proclaims stone fruit but instead we found it strongly tropical and too ripe, like lychees in sugar syrup. There was a bloom of herbaceousness as well; think winter savoury, a sort of brighter, stronger more floral version of thyme. None of these comments are meant as negative. It’s a wonderful summer sipper, I carted a bottle nestled in cool packs on a two hour hike all the way to remote Taylor Point on Saturna, and we drank it with cheese, fruit, fresh homemade soda bread while watching eagles and orcas overhead and beyond. The low alcohol point is an extra feather in its cap.


Price: $21 at the Saturna Island General Store of all places.


Market Liquidity: Mazel Tov to Pender.

The gorgeous view from the bistro (closed) and the Saturna vineyard (fallow).  Sigh.

The gorgeous view from the bistro (closed) and the Saturna vineyard (fallow). Sigh.