Saturday, August 1, 2015

A short break in the Okanagan trip report to tell you about a very special evening!

Firstly, when did I move to the Sun??? Jesus it's hot. It's hotter in my living room right now (8 AM) than it was in the Okanagan during the trip that I have been reporting on. Unreal.

Secondly, for some perspective on this blog entry, please read this one first if you haven't already:

So after tasting the Riesling, I reached out to Jim to let him know how much we had enjoyed it.... and he offered to come to my house so I could taste their entire portfolio! What a special treat. We made this happen last Friday, and Jim did indeed drive out to Chilliwack and he brought a bit of wine with him.

Eleven bottles!

Four of them were the ones I reported on in the above blog post, so we'll focus today on the other seven. Jim specifically asked for honesty when rating the wines, even if that honesty was negative, so I'm giving it to him....not much "negative" about these wines, though.

Moraine 2014 Cliffhanger White ($16.50)

70% Pinot Gris, 30% Gewurztraminer. Lychee, guava and melon on the nose. Well balanced acidity and a crisp finish. 87.

Moraine 2014 Pink Mountain ($19.90)

A blend of Malbec and Merlot, this Rose features fruity aromas of strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb. The palate features the same berries with a touch of plum and spice thrown in for good measure. It avoids the grapefruit flavors that so many BC Roses feature prominently. 86.

Moraine 2013 Cliffhanger Red ($18.90)

Their "everyday" red comprised of Merlot and Malbec, with black cherry dominating the nose. The palate gets some chocolate, vanilla, mocha and a bit of spice on the finish. A nice bargain at this price. 87.

Moraine 2012 Syrah ($23.90)

Intoxicating nose of blueberry, blackberry and white pepper. Medium bodied, almost meaty, with hints of cold cuts joining in on the palate. Finishes long with a touch of spice. Lovely already and will improve with some careful cellaring. 91-93,

Moraine 2012 Red Mountain ($26.90)

40% Merlot, 30% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Franc. Aged 20 months in 40% new oak. Notes of toasty oak and cherries on the nose. Cherry, plum, strawberry and black currants on the palate. This is already lovely, and we finished this bottle off at the end of the tasting. As it opened up, it got even better. It's tough to imagine a wine from BC (or anywhere) that is better than this around this price point. 93.

Moraine 2013 Twin Peaks Icewine ($26.90)

Apples, honey, pineapple and cherries mingle on the nose. A touch of raisin. Incredibly balanced and lovely; not nearly as sweet as some icewines. If you are one who enjoys dessert wine but finds some of them overly sweet, check this one out, you will love it. I love sweet sweet sweet icewines and I still loved this one. And at this price, run out and get some while you can! 93.

Hmm, that's six wines...and four from the other blog post makes 10. I am sure I counted the 11 bottles that Jim brought, but I don't think I missed anything. Could be I have forgotten how to count in my old age.

The damage after the tasting:

They also have a very limited Chardonnay that we didn't get to sample, but Jim insists it is absolutely fantastic. We will check it out when we make our first visit to Naramata, sometime next year.

What a great evening! Jim couldn't have been more engaging...and the stories he told! He's been in the wine industry forever, and knows everyone. Stories about lots of names we know (McWatters, Shafer, Mondavi) and lots we didn't....but all entertaining. He even had some funny stories about a couple people in the industry that we know quite well....but those stories are for another time and medium.

He came out of retirement specifically to work for Moraine because he believes in their philosophy of making great, approachable wines at a very affordable price. You'll notice above there isn't a single wine above $30! Not even the icewine. Definitely a winery to watch and a "can't miss" on any wine tour of the Naramata Bench.

Check out their website for more info on the wines. You won't be disappointed!

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