Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Okanagan Trip, The Ocho, up the road to Ex Nihilo!

While in the parking lot at Gray Monk, one of my companions, who might be the world leader for making friends with strangers, struck up a conversation with a fellow wine enthusiast who happened to work at Ex Nihilo. Voila, 3 minutes later, we were booked into a special seated food-and-wine-pairing-tasting! I guess being friendly actually pays off. Maybe I'll try that one day.

Anyhow, the only negative was that it was about 140 degrees on that day and we started by sitting out in the sun.
Four very warm people

Thankfully, a table in the shade would open up shortly after our tasting began.

Four slightly less warm people

Before I mention anything about the wine, I must give them kudos for using VARIETAL SPECIFIC glasses; the first (and only) winery on this particular trip to do so. It makes such an incredible difference.

We started with a little palate cleanser from their entry-level line.

Chaos 2016 Bianco ($16.00)

Riesling/Gewurztraminer/Pinot Gris

Aromas of lychee, green apple and white peach. Melon, peach and lychee on the palate. Refreshing and a real treat for the price. 87.

At this point, we had small plates to pair with the wines, each dish being paired with two wines.

Ex Nihilo 2015 Riesling ($20.00)

Already showing some notes of diesel to go along with juicy pineapple and a touch of white pepper. Crisp and clean with honey and orange zest flavors. Really nice. 90.

Ex Nihilo 2016 Pinot Noir ($36.00)

Intense aromas of strawberry, plum and earth. The palate is complex, juicy and arresting. Flavors include earth, dark cherry and black plum, but expect to get hints of baking spices and herbs as it finishes. Just lovely. 92.

Ex Nihilo 2015 Pinot Gris ($20.00)

Apricot, passion fruit, pear and white flowers on the nose. Orchard fruits dominate the palate, with just a touch of grapefruit as well. 89.

Ex Nihilo 2015 Night ($46.00)

47% Cabernet Sauvignon/36% Merlot/17% Cabernet Franc

Incredible aromas of dried figs, smoke, dark fruit, stewed plums and baking spice. The palate is dark as Night (ha! get it?), dark berries, dark chocolate, plum, vanilla and a touch of white pepper. This is already delicious, but lay it down for 2-3 years if you can. 93.

We left here very satisfied (the food pairings were terrific) with four bottles in tow: a Riesling, a Pinot Noir, a Night, and one that we didn't get to taste, a Small Lot Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir. I'm just going to assume it's great based on how good the regular Pinot was (which is, of course, not necessarily true).

Next up on this tour: We meet a very special young man at 50th Parallel Estate!!

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