Friday, June 26, 2015

Okanagan Trip, Part Deux. Gray Monk wine and a fabulous lunch.

When we left for the Okanagan last Wednesday, we headed directly for Gray Monk and the Grapevine Restaurant. We had reservations at noon but were hoping we would have time to get to the tasting room before that if traffic allowed, and it did; we had lots of time to taste their entire portfolio and still make our lunch reservations.

Gray Monk has long been a favorite of ours, particularly for their sweeter whites, but all the wines are a solid value. Let's see how the new vintages fared.

Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey White Meritage ($16.49)

Some grassy aromas intermingling with a touch of grapefruit and vanilla. Grapefruit comes back to the palate with some lemongrass and a bit of apple. 87.

Gray Monk 2013 Unwooded Chardonnay ($14.79)

Tropical fruit, apple and floral aromas. A hint of melon joins in on the palate. A really nice un-oaked effort. 88.

Gray Monk 2013 Pinot Blanc ($14.79)

Rich and full bodied with hints of melon and apples. Finishes dry and would be best with food, especially some nice seafood or even chicken. 87.

Gray Monk 2013 Pinot Auxerrios ($14.79)

A perennial favorite of mine, lots of fruit on the nose with some peach flavors and nicely balanced acidity. This one works by itself but also would pair lovely with seafood. 88.

Gray Monk 2013 Gew├╝rztraminer  ($14.79)

Notes of lychee, peaches and herbs. Tropical fruits join the lychee on the palate. Just a tiny amount of spice finishes it off. 87.

Gray Monk 2014 Siegerrebe ($16.59)

Peach, honeysuckle and a floral nose. The palate brings some tangerine and a bit of spice. Supple and slightly off-dry, 88.

Gray Monk 2014 Ehrenfelser ($17.39)

Citrus dominates the nose and palate. Off-dry with apricot and lemon flavors. Could use a bit of time in the bottle to fully develop the flavors. 86.

Gray Monk 2012 Odyssey Pinot Noir ($15.69)

Blackberry, cherry and vanilla notes. Touches of raspberry and vanilla on the palate. Definitely needs some more time in the bottle to improve to it's potential. 84.

Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey Meritage ($30.49)

Touches of vanilla and blackberries on the nose and palate. Long and lovely finish. Another one that needs some more time to develop. 85.

Gray Monk 2011 Odyssey Merlot ($20.49)

Chocolate, vanilla, nutmeg and blueberry on the nose. The palate is enveloped by black cherries with hints of dark chocolate and black cherries. Perfectly good now but has the potential to improve a lot with some cellar time. 86-89.

After our tasting, on to lunch. We never have any fun.

That is my gorgeous wife with a glass of one of our favorite wines from Gray Monk. Even though we knew it wasn't a traditionally pairing with our meals, we had not yet tried this vintage so we ordered it and love it as usual.

Gray Monk 2014 Kerner ($16.59)

Peaches, lemons and honeysuckle on the nose. This very off-dry wine is lovely and sweet (not icewine sweet, but sweet). Notes of apricot, honey and butter tarts on the palate. Another great vintage of a very reliable wine. 89.

For lunch I ordered this:

Gluten Free Tiger Prawns Proven├žale Au Gratin 16.00Ocean Wise Tiger Prawns, Herb Cream Sauce, Asiago

Absolutely one of the top-10 prawn dishes I have ever had. Superb cream sauce and the prawns couldn't have been cooked better. We also had an order of "breads and spreads" which was fantastic on it's own and fantastic dipped into the above cream sauce!

For our main course, I ordered this:

Gluten Free Slow Braised Beef 20.00New York Striploin, Estate Merlot Mushroom Demi, Parsnip Smashed Potato, Horseradish Aioli, Vegetable
Any my wife ordered this:
Saltimbocca Cavatappi 19.00Pancetta, Yam, Cream Sauce, Served with Cavatappi Pasta, Watercress, Vegetable Brochette, Asiago, Cheddar
I was SO MAD for ordering what I did...not because it wasn't good...far from it, it was excellent....but my wife's pasta dish (which our waitress described as "damn good pasta") was maybe the best pasta we had ever tasted.

Those orange things in the dish are yams. YAMS. Who puts yams in pasta? Well, apparently this chef does, and it was incredible. The pancetta was a perfect addition as well. Just incredible. If my beef dish was 8/10, this pasta dish was about a 42. So good.
This is the second meal we've had here and both were just beautiful, so I'm comfortable recommending that all of you make this a "must do" for your next trip to the Okanagan. This winery and restaurant is located in Lake Country, just about a half hour north of Kelowna, but it is well worth your extra time. Don't miss it!!

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