If you walk into the tasting room, they charge a $3 fee which is non-refundable with purchase. That is odd for the Okanagan - you can usually get reimbursed if you buy a bottle or two - but here, they take all that money and it pays for the conservation of these cute SOB's:
I can hear them saying "Hey, don't be cheap, get in here and put down your three bucks!!!"
Anyway, we paid quite a bit more than $3 this time, as we booked a private sit-down tasting for the first time, known as the "Connoisseur Tasting". We were warmly greeted by Sophie, our host, who was very friendly and knowledgeable and treated us to a terrific experience. I highly recommend this level of tasting for your next visit here. IIRC, the cost was $30.
Of course, as I've said everywhere, the experience presented to you in any wine tasting only goes so far. It really all comes down to the wines.
Burrowing Owl 2016 Pinot Gris ($20.00)
Aromas of pear and apple with a hint of minerality. Citrus flavors mingle with apple and white grapefruit. 88.
Burrowing Owl 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($25.00)
Somewhat reminiscent of a big New Zealand Sauv Blanc, with aromas of melon and fresh cut grass. All kinds of things going on here, with a complex flavor profile featuring some melon, stone fruit, mandarin orange, honeysuckle, passionfruit, guava and herbaceous notes on the finish. Lovely. 90.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Merlot ($30.00)
Beautiful aromas of red fruit, red pepper, plum, black cherry, chocolate and violets. Red and black berries on the palate, with chocolate notes and an earthy, almost dusty finish. Delicious. 92.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($33.00)
Thus continues the "Trip of Cabernet Sauvignon", and this isn't even from the seemingly-perfect 2014 vintage. Stewed plums, mint, dark chocolate, violets, black cherry and black licorice on the nose. Black cherry, black raspberry, plum, blackberry and a hint of spice on the finish. This one is so good, I can't wait to taste the '14. 92.
Burrowing Owl 2013 Meritage ($45.00)
39% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit, Verdot, 3% Malbec
Intense red cherry, red currant, blackberry, violet, chocolate and vanilla aromas. Red cherries dominate the palate, but there are also flavors of blueberry, plum and marzipan. Firm structure, this is a beast and needs a good decade in the cellar to really show itself, but it's going to be quite a show. 91-94.
Burrowing Owl 2014 Cabernet Franc ($33.00)
Aromas of vanilla, violets, plum, black cherry and toasty oak. The oak really shines through on the palate as well, with flavors of raspberry, plum, blackberry and a hint of spice. 89.
Burrowing Owl 2014 Athene ($38.00)
58% Syrah and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon cofermented
Plum, baking spice, violets, hazelnut, espresso, dark chocolate and earthy notes are all present to tantalize your olfactory senses. Black and blue fruit dominate the palate, with some orange rind and spice showing up through the mid-palate. This is delicious already. 93.
Burrowing Owl N/V (2015 Bottling) Coruja ($30.00)
Coruja is Portugese for "owl", and this is their fortified Port-style wine. Black fruit and raspberry jam on the nose, with blackberry, blueberry, leather, violets and a touch of pepper on the palate. Lovely. 90.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is no bad wine here, and many of them are taking the leap from "good" to "spectacular".
We had originally planned on having dinner at their terrific restaurant, but with my wife's health issues we wanted to minimize how many late nights out we had, so we decided to stick to dinner at our resort. We are very much looking forward to our next visit though, as the restaurant is one not to miss.
Next up: Up in the morning and time to start another day, and we start it in one of our favorite spots, at La Stella!