An interesting tasting yesterday at Sardis Park VQA as two wineries went mano a mano for the undisputed Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon championship of the WORRRRRRRRRRRRLD......
OK perhaps not "the world".
In this corner:
(Interesting note, when I typed Rollingdale into my Iphone it autocorrected it to "rolling fake". hmm I wonder if that is a sign of things to come with their wines??)
Rollingdale 2009 Merlot la Droite
la Droite (French for "the right") is a nod to the assemblage of the right bank of Bordeaux which is primarily Merlot.
Grapes for this come from two very distinct vineyards; one in Oliver, one from Okanagan Falls.
A note of chocolate on the nose and vanilla and berries on the palate. Tannins were stiff and I found this a little flabby, but a couple more years in the bottle would probably flesh the flavors out a bit.
Rollingdale 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon la Gauche
la Gauche ("the left") is a nod to the left bank of Bordeaux, primarily Cab Sauv.
Brooding dark fruit with hints of earth and minerals; Medium bodied, a bit underwhelming on the mid-palate and the finish. It could use some more time in the bottle, but at $24.95 I think there are better options.
Summerhill 2010 Merlot
Aromas of plum and chocolate, a little vanilla on the palate as well. It's good now but would be well served to age for a few more years; the tannins are a little bit stiff.
Summerhill 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Fabulous aromas of blueberries and flowers make this one pleasing on the nose, and it's pleasing on the palate as well. It's medium-bodied and finishes with hints of earthiness. This was by far my favorite of the four wines we tasted today and the only one I purchased to enjoy at home. As close to the beautiful Cabernet Sauvignons that you can find in Napa Valley as I've experienced in a BC Cab Sauv. At $26.95, it's a lot cheaper than those big Napa wines. If you have the patience to lay this down for another year or two, it will pay off in a big way, IMO.
So this was an unquestionable knockout for me; Summerhill wins this battle easily. All four wines were pleasant and I'd be happy to sit down with a glass of any of them, but for me the Summerhill Cabernet Sauvignon was a clear choice to add to my collection. I will lay it down until 2014 or 2015 and see what it is like then.
Here's the great thing about wine; the store was doing an informal poll of their customers as to their preferences, and as I left the store yesterday after my tasting, Rollingdale was winning the poll handily. Wine is such a personal thing, especially when you have well-made wines like these.
Of course, that just means those people are wrong.