It's not as much fun as usual writing a wine blog when you have a bad cold and can't taste anything... in other words, I am writing this blog entry sans wine. Boooo.
Over the last couple weeks, I've had the opportunity to taste a variety of wines from a couple of BC's top wineries...two wineries that have something very much in common: neither of them grow their own red grapes on their estate (with one exception).
First up, Tantalus Vineyards. A very specialized winery, they basically just make three varietals: Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir.
They also have some Syrah grapes planted but they have never been able to get them ripe enough to make an actual Syrah....so they have started using them to make a Syrah icewine!! Didn't get a chance to taste that at this tasting, but we are heading to the Okanagan in a month or so and we will definitely be stopping in to check that out.
Tantalus 2014 Rose ($19.04)
Powerful aromas of strawberries greet the nose, followed by a touch of herbs. Apples, strawberries and just a tinge of grapefruit on the palate. Really fruity and refreshing. 88.
Tantalus 2014 Riesling ($19.91)
Lemons, oranges and slate on the nose and the palate. Pineapples join in on the palate. Bright, juicy and balanced acidity promise to allow this one to age for a decade or more. I bought one to put into the cellar for a few years. 90.
Tantalus 2012 Pinot Noir ($26.00)
Violets and raspberries on the nose. Just the slightest earthiness. Plums and black fruit on the palate. Lovely and will improve with a little "lay-down" time. 89.
Next up, Gray Monk! Always a reliable winery that usually over delivers for the price. Like Tantalus, they aren't able to grow any "warm weather" grapes on their estate; unlike Tantalus, they still make those varietals, they just have the grapes brought in from warmer locales in the Okanagan.
This will actually be the first winery we experience on our June trip, as we are heading directly from home to the winery's terrific restaurant for lunch.
Gray Monk 2014 Rotberger (Rose) ($14.79)
Raspberries,currants and just a hint of spice on the nose. Cherries dominate the palate with a touch of spice to round it out. A real bargain at this price. 88.
Gray Monk 2014 Pinot Gris ($15.69)
Citrus and herbs on the nose. Peach and lots of pear on the palate. Another example of a wine that over delivers for what it sets you back. 88.
Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon ($26.99)
Bell pepper, coffee, smoke and black pepper on the nose. Some olive as well. The palate enjoys some cherries and plums, with a touch of spice. Long finish. 88.
Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey Meritage ($30.49)
Blackberry and a touch of vanilla on the nose and palate. Beautiful texture and juicy acidity, suggesting that this will even improve for many years. It's already very good. 90.
There you go! Starting to get excited about our upcoming trip that will undoubtedly bring on many, many, many more blog entries.