Saturday, May 14, 2016

Okanagan Trip, Part 1: Poplar Grove is our first stop

A couple weeks ago we were up in Naramata to celebrate the birthday of a very good friend; it was our first trip up to the wineries in Naramata (we had visited a few in Penticton on our last trip) so we were very excited to try out some of the wines we were somewhat familiar with and some we had never experienced.

Up early in the morning and off to Poplar Grove, a well-regarded winery that we had tasted some wine from before but not that much. Here we go:

Poplar Grove 2015 Pinot Gris ($19.90)

Beautiful nose of apricot and guava. Sweet red apple and pear dominate the palate. Well balanced acidity. A real gem. 90.

Poplar Grove 2015 Chardonnay ($21.90)

Walnuts, vanilla and lemongrass on the nose and palate. A touch of hazelnut and creme brulee join in on the palate. Finishes long and lovely. 89.

Poplar Grove 2014 Viognier ($24.90)

Aromas of honeysuckle, passion fruit and orange blossom. Flavors of pear and orange and really plump acidity. 88.

Poplar Grove 2015 Blanc de Noirs ($24.90)

Pretty nose featuring grapefruit, rhubarb and strawberry. The fruit continues through to the palate with just a slight bit of spice joining in. 88.

Poplar Grove 2012 Syrah ($34.90)

Aromas of allspice, cranberry and a bit of white pepper. Strong flavor of black cherry dominate the palate, with some blackberry, cinnamon and white pepper coming through at the back. Full-bodied and lots of potential. 88.

Poplar Grove 2011 Malbec ($34.90)

Violets, blueberry and blackberry on the nose. Inviting flavors of prune and cherries, with some toasty oak and cedar as well. 87.

Poplar Grove 2012 CSM ($34.90)

51% Merlot, 41% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of black currant, black cherry, violets and white pepper. Complex and intense flavors of raspberry, plum, pepper and tobacco. 89.

Poplar Grove 2012 Merlot ($29.90)

Licorice, caramel, black cherry and cola on the nose. Long and beautiful finish with hints of cocoa, licorice and cherry. Rich mouthfeel. 88.

Poplar Grove 2011 Legacy ($112.32**)

43% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Franc, 13% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon

Strong aromas of vanilla, coffee and cloves. The palate is greeted by red currants, blackberry, plum and vanilla. 89.

**1.5L Magnum, available only from the wineshop

Poplar Grove 2014 Late Harvest Riesling/Chardonnay ($19.90)

Aromas of maple, honey and butterscotch. Complex flavors of orange rind, white flowers and peach. Lovely and if you are a fan of dessert wines that aren't crazy-sweet, you'll really enjoy this. 89.

That was all we were able to taste that day, but while we were there, the lady helping us out recommended the following wine, exclusive to their wine club and very, very limited. We picked up a couple of them and have since opened and tasted it:

Poplar Grove 2012 Cabernet Franc ($34.90)

Beautiful aromas of plum, cedar and tobacco. A spectacularly complex palate, flavors of cedar, blackberry, tobacco, herbs, green pepper and black cherry. Finishes long and luscious. One of our absolute favorites of this varietal from BC. Really, really special. 93.

We happened to be at Everything Wine in Surrey last weekend and they had some more of this beauty, so we picked up a couple more. We have put one of them into our cellar to age a bit but sometimes a wine is so damn good it doesn't even need to age. We'll see if we let it get there or not!

What a terrific way to start our weekend, not a bad wine in the bunch and we've found a real gem in the Cab Franc.

Next up: up the road to a private tasting at Laughing Stock!

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