Saturday, May 19, 2018

Okanagan Trip, Part 3, a repeat visit to Maverick Estate Winery!

We get to Osoyoos and we had a little time before our first appointment of the day, time enough to hit 1 or 2 wineries, and the first one we came across that was open was Maverick. We have been here 3-4 times now, but our friends were pretty unfamiliar with them so this was a great opportunity to present them with an "up-and-comer". Maverick has been open 3-4 years now I would guess, and the wines are always of quality.

Maverick Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Gris ($16.00)
Red apple and pear aromas dominate the nose. Fruit salad in the glass on the palate; guava, tropical fruit and pear flavors. A nice bargain.

Maverick Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay ($26.50)
This is what I dislike about today's Chardonnay; little oak (6 months new oak), no maloactic fermentation, so little to no rich, buttery characteristics. But you know what? It's delicious. Just goes to show how good this style of Chardonnay can be when it is done right. Aromas of stone fruit, orange blossom, citrus and toasted almonds. Citrus, almond, macadamia nut and just the slightest tinge of hazelnut on the finish. Very nice.

Maverick Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Noir ($29.00)
Aromas of raspberry, black plum and white pepper. Light flavors of blackberry, raspberry and red cherry. Needs time to round itself out but there is potential here.

Maverick Estate Winery 2015 Rubeus ($25.00)
50% Syrah, 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc

That only adds to 99, maybe the other 1% is a mystery :). Cranberry, dried fruit, anise and tobacco on the nose. The palate is light and elegant, and the tannins are strong. Herbaceous notes, with black pepper on the finish. Another one that is not yet ready for greatness.

Maverick Estate Winery 2014 Fia ($30.00)

Dried fruit, licorice, dark chocolate and white pepper aromas surround your senses. The palate is rich and decadent and almost hedonistic. Flavors are all about red berries and dark chocolate. As always, this one steals the show.

As expected, not a bad wine in the bunch and that Port-style wine is a real star.

Next up: Our second visit to CC Jentsch!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

You had me at "Vanessa"..........

Eagle-eyed readers may remember that we visited here last year, but we were impressed enough that we wanted to make sure our friends got to taste their wines. Not to mention we expected that they'd have some new stuff, and we were right.

A reminder on last year's trip is posted here.

On to the new stuff! They had five wines for us to taste this trip two of which (2014 Merlot and 2014 Right Bank) were reported on last year. My opinion and rating of those wines did not change.

Vanessa Vineyards 2017 Rosé ($24.99)
Red berries all day on the nose. Strawberry, raspberry, a hint of cranberry; beautiful. The palate is ripe, juicy strawberries, even a touch jammy, with a touch of mint and spice on the finish. This blend of Merlot and Syrah is a winner.

Vanessa Vineyards 2014 Syrah ($34.99)
It's not unusual to have a dollop of Viognier in Syrah; but this is a whopping 10% Viognier, which is high. Aromas of blackberry, black pepper, dark flowers, earth and mocha. Flavors of blackberry envelop the palate immediately, and are quickly joined by black plum, cocoa, exotic spices, vanilla and a touch of pepper. The finish is very long and there is still a lot of grip here, suggesting this one will likely even get better with some careful cellaring. If you can't wait, give it a good, long decant. Or just open it and drink it for goodness sake, it's already terrific.

Vanessa Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc ($39.99)
I believe this is their first foray into Cab Franc, and it's a winning first effort. Sweet red cherries leap from the glass, shortly thereafter joined by pleasing aromas of blackberry, sage, plum and coffee. The palate is rich, round and juicy, with wild blueberries, stewed prunes, blackberry and vanilla all taking their turn to tantalize your taste buds. Long and lovely finish. Another one that might just get better with some more nap time.

Our second experience at this tasting room was just as good as our first, and my wife loved everything so much she insisted we join their wine club. And we reallllllllly needed another wine club. Oh well, we'll just have to drink more wine!

Next up: We head to Osoyoos and Oliver and make our first stop at Maverick Estate Winery!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Okanagan Trip begins in the Similkameen with our first ever visit to Clos du Soleil !!

Our annual late-April trip to celebrate the birthday of one of our best friends (and we let his wife tag along too!). This year we were heading to Oliver and Osoyoos, stopping at a couple of Similkameen wineries on the way. As we were arriving here right around lunch time, and food options in this part of the world are limited, to put it mildly, we brought a picnic lunch to enjoy outside. More on that later......

Clos du Soleil 2015 Capella ($27.90)

80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon

Light, fresh aromas of lemon lime and white grapefruit. Intense flavors of quince, asian pear, lemon and lime. Vibrant acidity.

Clos du Soleil 2016 Fumé Blanc ($20.90)

Passionfruit dominates the nose, with hints of white grapefruit and pineapple lurking. Tropical fruit,
red apple and generous minerality on the long finish.

Clos du Soleil 2016 Semillon ($24.90)

Citrus all over the nose and the palate, which could almost be described as "tart". Flavors of quince and pear come through as well.

Clos du Soleil 2014 Celestial ($26.90)

Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot/Malbec

Bright red cherry and perfume dance together on the nose. The aromatics give way to black cherry, black plum and some spicy notes on the long finish. Very tasty, and a nice everyday red wine for the price.

Clos du Soleil 2014 Signature ($44.90)

Intoxicating blackberry, black pepper and cedar on the nose. Red fruit all day on the palate; cherry, raspberry and red currant. Delicious, and still has more to give. I'm putting mine down for a couple of years.

Clos du Soleil 2014 Saturn ($28.90)

Late harvest features strong aromas of orange marmalade and peaches. On the palate, you'll notice honey, peaches, lemon, lime and vanilla flavors.

After the tasting we headed outside into one of the great windstorms I have ever experienced and sat down with a bottle of Fumé Blanc to enjoy our picnic lunch....putting something heavy on all the food so it wouldn't fly away. They don't have what you would call a "designated" picnic spot, just a bunch of chairs and tables or picnic benches throughout the grounds. A very nice way to begin what we knew would be a fantastic trip!

Next up, just down the road to Vanessa Vineyards!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Random post, stuff we've enjoyed (or not) in the past weeks, as we prepare for our next Okanagan trip!

I know, I know, it's been more than a month since my last blog post. I feel shame.

Home renos have sucked up all of my free time, but I'm going to try to get better. We just returned from a great weekend in the Okanagan so I have TONS to report on!

For now, a random sampling of stuff we have been drinking over the last couple of months, including this beautiful California Zin:

Hartford Family Winery 2014 Dina's Vineyard Zinfandel ($60 USD from winery)

Intense aromas of black fruit, mint, rosemary, black licorice and charred meats. Blueberry and plum dominate the palate, with notes of white pepper, blackberry and minerality. Dark, brooding and impressive. This winery just doesn't make bad wine. I had no idea Zinfandel could be this good. Very special stuff.

Cedarcreek 2016 Chardonnay ($18.99)
I generally don't open Chardonnay this early, but this one is always a reliable one to drink early, and this year is no exception. Aromas of peach, pear, red apple and just a touch of butter. The palate features a bit of juicy green apple, citrus and a bit of butterscotch on the finish.

Stag's Hollow 2013 Heritage Block ($23.99 from BC Liquor Stores)
Bordeaux-style blend features funky mushroom, violets and black fruit dominating the nose. Opens up nicely if you give it a nice decant or leave it in the glass. Blackberry, black licorice, cedar, vanilla and even a hint of tar reside on the palate if you look long enough.

Casale del Giglio 2015 Petit Manseng ($26.99 from BC Liquor Stores)

Originally enjoyed at the VIWF but I lost my notes on all my Italy wines. Aromatic notes of stone fruit, red apple, white flowers and a touch of spice. Apricot, apple and a flinty quality on the palate. Medium bodied with a nice finish. This grape is almost exclusively found in Southwest France; this is a delightful example of it from the Lazio region of Italy.
Church & State 2014 Pinot Noir ($20.00)

From their Brentwood Bay vineyard on Vancouver Island. Aromas of red cherry, raspberry, baking spices and earth. The palate is very light and almost has a watery quality. This is the second bottle of this I have tasted and neither left me wanting another one.
Church & State 2014 Signature Series Pinot Noir ($37.00)
Brooding black fruit on the nose, hints of red berries and earthiness. Less expressive on the nose than the above but much better on the palate. Blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors with vibrant acidity. I would suggest this has even better days ahead of it.

Enough for tonight, and I promise to start the Okanagan wine trip blog this weekend, and hopefully I can get in 2 or 3 entries. So much great wine to report on!