Thursday, November 2, 2017

Okanagan Trip, Part 1, let's travel through the Similkameen Valley (and, for once, stop and taste the wine!!!)

We've driven through the Similkameen Valley dozens of times. It's about time we actually stopped and tried some of the wine!

First up is a relatively new player in the market, Vanessa Vineyards. They were in the news recently as they've snapped up recently-retired legendary winemaker Howard Soon, late of Sandhill, to take over their wine making duties. I think Howard was retired for about 17 minutes. He and Don Triggs should hold a symposium on how NOT to retire!

Vanessa Vineyards 2013 Meritage ($36.99)

Cabernet Sauvignon 44% / Cabernet Franc 32% / Merlot 24%

Light nose features red cherry, with pretty floral notes, all framed with herbaceous undertones. Red cherry, blackberry, black licorice and mocha on the palate. Tannins are strong, this one needs a bit of time, but it's already good. 

Vanessa Vineyards 2014 Right Bank ($39.99)
Arresting aromas of blackberry, blueberry and charred meats. Delicious and fruity with loads of blueberry, vanilla and sweet baking spices. Finishes very long. Lovely. 

Vanessa Vineyards 2013 Syrah ($34.99)
Reminiscent of the Rhone Valley, aromas of vanilla, smoke, leather and a hint of forest floor. Black cherry, red raspberry and a hint of maraschino cherry on the palate. Tons of promise.
Vanessa Vineyards 2014 Merlot ($34.99)

Merlot 85% / Cabernet Franc 15%

Fermented and barrel aged for 26 months in mainly new and one year old American and French oak. The oak shines through on the nose, joined by dark chocolate, cassis and ripe red cherries. Delicious and juicy palate with notes of stewed plums, blackberry, blueberry, cassis and black raspberry. Their first Merlot, and it's a winner. 

That was their entire portfolio, although some other varietals are on the horizon, including a Viognier. They have a beautiful, big tasting room and as you can see from the above reviews, the wines are universally excellent. A "must-stop" on your visit to, or through, the Similkameen.

Next up: Our second stop in the Similkameen, at Seven Stones!

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