A quarter century? Seems like that's how long it has taken me to write it.
Burrowing Owl, one of the more highly rated BC wineries, and one that, up until this trip, I always thought was a tad overrated. Not that I have disliked their wine in the past, but nothing has bowled me over and it seemed like their exclusivity didn't necessarily match the quality of the wine. Let's see if my opinion changed on this trip.
They charge a non-refundable tasting fee which sometimes irks me a bit, but given that the fees go directly to the conservation of actual Burrowing Owls, I fully support it.
They have a very large, beautiful tasting room and wine shop.
Burrowing Owl 2014 Pinot Gris ($20.00)
An expressive nose of white flowers, pear and cantaloupe. The palate is rich with some minerality and hints of cantaloupe and plum. Lovely. 89.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Chardonnay ($25.00)
Aromas of pineapple, banana, nectarine and coconut. The palate is fruity and light, very subtle notes of oak integrated with some honeydew melon and citrus. 87.
Burrowing Owl 2014 Sauvignon Blanc ($25.00)
Subtle grassy notes that this varietal often brings, mingling with some lemon on the nose. Green apple, peach and passionfruit take over on the palate. 88.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Pinot Noir ($30.00)
Personally I think this is their best Pinot Noir. Strong aromas of raspberry, cold cuts, oak and violets. The palate is bright and juicy, with graphite notes mingling in with the fruit. Strawberries and cedar, dark berries and vanilla. Just fantastic. 92.
Burrowing Owl 2011 Merlot ($30.00)\
Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, cola and vanilla. Hints of cocoa, blueberry and blackberry on the palate. Finishes long and chalky. Very good already and will only improve with some time in your cellar. 88-90.
Burrowing Owl 2012 Petit Verdot ($30.00)
Light aromas of dark berries and a bit of spice highlight the nose on their initial release of this single varietal. Hints of blackberry and licorice and some earthy notes on the palate. Tannins are strong and will soften with some gentle aging. Very intriguing debut. 87.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Syrah ($33.00)
Black pepper, violets, black plums and a hint of tobacco on the powerful nose. Blackberry, strawberry, cocoa, vanilla and a touch of spice on the palate. Another one that is terrific now and will improve with some careful cellaring. 91.
Burrowing Owl 2012 Cabernet Franc ($33.00)
Aromas of blueberry, rapsberry and vanilla waft over your nose. Just a touch of tobacco on the palate mixed in with red currants, blueberries and licorice. 88.
Burrowing Owl 2012 Athene ($38.00)
53% Syrah, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Black cherry and earthy notes on the nose. Complex flavors of blackberry, blueberry, bittersweet chocolate, earth and black cherry. Long and lovely finish. 89.
Burrowing Owl 2011 Meritage ($45.00)
33% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot.
Lots of complex aromas here. Cassis, plum, blackberry and just a touch of black olive greets the nose. Some herbal and floral notes join in as well. The palate is rich, complex and juicy. Chocolate, smoke, cocoa, raspberry, cigar box and vanilla. Structured, acidic and young, this one needs to lay down for up to a decade to really reach the heights it can. 89-92.
It's safe to say that this tasting has raised my expectations of Burrowing Owl quite a bit. This was really a terrific experience and the wine was of universally high quality.
Next up: our first visit to Road 13 !