This is only our second stay at Spirit Lodge at Nk'mip but it certainly won't be the last. Beautiful suites, all with full kitchens, and all at reasonable prices (perhaps they get pricey during their peak season, but this is still a little bit before the summer craziness hits).
The full kitchens make all the difference. Even the most budget-conscious readers can afford to splurge a little bit on a beautiful suite if they can offset those costs with much cheaper meals. I believe we ate about 2/3 of our meals in our suite, which must have saved us enough money to pay for the difference in price between this place and a lesser hotel. Can't recommend this place enough.
It features all the amenities you would expect, including a year-round pool with hot tub and fitness centre. This pool is right in the heart of the resort, so it can get a touch crowded with children from time to time. There is also a seasonal second pool, which is sort of "adults only" but basically just mean to be a quiet pool, overlooking the vineyards.
This is it. Busy, eh??
Yes, those are clouds. Those stayed with us for much of the trip. The middling weather was really the only thing that wasn't close to perfect on this trip.
Anyway, just before we checked in we headed to the tasting room at Nk'Mip to have a shot at their wares. They have a free tasting, as well as a dedicated "upscale" room where you can taste their reserve level wines for a nominal $10 fee. That room closed just before we got there, which was too bad....but it worked out pretty well for us, as you'll see below.
Their regular tier of wines is known as the "Winemaker's" tier, and reserve wines are part of the Qwam Qwmt level. Yes, that is spelled correctly.
Nk'Mip 2015 Pinot Blanc ($17.95)
Citrus and red apple aromas, with the apple continuing through to the palate, joined by racy minerality. Pleasant, but I'm still looking for that "breakthrough" Pinot Blanc. 87.
Nk'Mip 2015 Dreamcatcher ($17.99)
Big blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Ehrenfelser, and Chardonnay.
Aromas of peach and nectarine, with bold flavors of lemon zest, orchard fruit and Granny Smith apple. 88.
Nk'Mip 2015 Chardonnay ($18.99)
Aromas of warm apple pie, citrus and butterscotch. Flavors of citrus, pear, butterscotch and baking spices. Delicious and a real steal. 89.
We would have definitely bought some of these, but then we tasted.....
Nk'Mip 2015 Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay ($24.99)
Beautiful, intense aromas of hazelnut, poached cinnamon pears, butterscotch and vanilla. Pear flavors are front and centre on the palate, with just the right amount of hazelnet and caramel showing up at the end. Delicious. We bought a couple of these...one for "now" and one for "later". We'll see if it improves. 92.
Nk'Mip 2016 Rosé ($17.99)
You will find your olfactory senses overwhelmed by strawberries (not a bad thing), but there are notes of rhubarb and raspberry lurking in the background. Strawberry, raspberry and light notes of pink grapefruit make an appearance on the palate. 89.
It was about this time that our excellent host told us that because the "premium" room was now closed, they would bring all of those wines out to the regular tasting room, so we would get to taste everything they had.
Nk'Mip 2015 Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir ($30.49)
Complex aromas of spice, black cherry, strawberry and plum. Flavors of black cherry with a touch of spice. This one is big with strong tannins, and needs some time to develop. 88-90.
Nk'Mip 2014 Merlot ($21.99)
Aromas of black plum, cherry, oak and cedar. Raspberry and vanilla flavors are dominant, with just a touch of dark chocolate and spice on the finish. 89.
Nk'Mip 2014 Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.90)
Have I yet mentioned that 2014 would be the year of Cab Sauv? Wow. Beautiful aromas of black cherry, mint, cedar, cigar box and basil. The palate features intense flavors including cassis, dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco and black cherry. What a treat. The winery had a few less of these after we left. 92.
Nk'Mip 2013 Mer'r'iym ($54.99)
From their website:
Mer’r’iym (pronounced mur’-eem’) means “marriage”; the perfect union of varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec all come together to create an elegant wine that is all about balance, texture, and length.
This is one that seems to get a little better every time I experience a new vintage. This one has aromas of vanilla, blueberry, blackberry, mint and tobacco. Red cherries and vanilla jump onto your palate, with milk chocolate and dark berries making an appearance as well. Just delicious. 93.
We also tasted a few other wines that we had sampled on our last visit. These included:
2014 Pinot Noir
2014 Qwam Qwmt Merlot
2014 Qwam Qwmt Syrah
2015 Riesling Icewine (which got the same 99 point score both tastings).
Those reviews are here for those who want to catch up.
Three wineries in and we already have a problem. We are filling up our not-very-large car. At this point, Tracey is going to have to walk home.
Next up: Another one of the "must do" wineries up here, a seated, informative tasting at Culmina!