Friday, September 14, 2018

Okanagan Trip Concludes, Finally, at the home of the jolliest bunch of a-holes this side of the nuthouse....THE HATCH!!!

Finally, this Okanagan trip report is coming to an end. And at the exact same time, I'm starting a new one.

Let me explain. We've been to The Hatch twice this year, so I'm just going to combine the two trips into one big long and I mean long did I say LONG blog review.

So....cozy on up in front of the fireplace (and if it's not cold enough where you live to be sitting by the fireplace yet, it will be by the time I'm done here), grab yourself a tasty beverage (might I suggest, I dunno, a bottle of wine from The Hatch??), and enjoy.
The Hatch 2017 Screaming Frenzy Pinot Gris ($19.99)

The picture of the bottle doesn't do the colour justice. 16 hours of skin contact changes it to a peachy colour. Aromas of red applesauce, pear and almond. All kinds of fresh fruit abound on the palate, with just a touch of spice and even a slight earthy quality.

The Hatch 2017 Hobo Series Muscat ($21.99)

White flowers, red apple and tropical fruit salad on the nose. Orange blossom and grape on the palate. Muscat is the only grape I can think of that actually, sometimes, tastes like grapes. This one is very dry, very unlike most examples of this varietal. Dry Muscat is usually not my favorite, but this is tasty.
The Hatch 2017 Screaming Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99)

Tropical fruit dominates the nose, with a hint of honeydew melon and fresh cut grass. The grassy aromas are subtle - this is no New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon, lime, nectarine and melon on the palate, with just a tinge of hay on the finish. At only 11.5% alcohol, this pairs beautifully with a second bottle.

The Hatch 2017 Screaming Frenzy Rosé ($19.99)

Intense aromas and flavors of red fruit; strawberry, cranberry and raspberry. Joining in on the palate is a bit of red apple, rhubarb and even peach. Peach? That's not red? How'd that sneak in here? Anyway, it's a big juicy rosé that deserves to be enjoyed with several other bottles in Melissa's pool. Too bad it took me so long to get this blog post done that pool weather is over! There's always next year.

The Hatch 2016 Sceaming Frenzy Pinot Noir ($26.99)

When we tasted this it had only been bottled a month, but it was already showing beautifully. Aromas of black cherry, spice, earth, and a touch of mushroom. Cherry, spice and strawberry flavors on the palate. So young, and already so delicious.

The Hatch 2016 Hobo Series Cabernet Franc ($33.69)

The Hatch's "Hobo" series is meant to shine a light on lesser-known varietals that they feel don't get the attention they deserve. This one won't be lesser-known for long. It's time for Cabernet Franc to leap out from beneath the shadows of it's big brother.
Oh my, intoxicating aromas of wild field mushrooms, violets, mint and black pepper. This has an intense herbaceous quality, notes of eucalyptus, blackberry, mushroom and black pepper on the palate. Well balanced acidity lifts the finish. This is an absolute beauty.

The Hatch 2016 Screaming Frenzy Meritage ($25.99)

47% Merlot/39% Petit Verdot/14% Malbec

All the fruit comes from the Jaggers Rock Vineyard, in the Similkameen Valley. Rich, inky purple in colour. Aromas of blueberry jam, violets, mushroom and baking spice. Blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon and spice on the palate. Juicy and delicious, the tannins here are firm and in-your-face; give it a year, maybe 7, you will not be sorry. If you absolutely MUST drink this now, give it a nice, long, decant.

Crown + Thieves 2014 Scoundrel's Punch ($47.99)

60% Merlot/40% Cabernet Franc

From winemaker Jason Parkes' personal label, this beauty features aromas of vanilla, mushroom and black fruit. Blackberry, black cherry and black pepper on the palate. Long, luscious finish. A treat. Only 150 cases of this were made, so if you are lucky enough to find some, get one. Case, that is.

The Hatch 2014 The Unicorn ($73.99)

Flipping the percentages on the above, 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot. More fruity and slightly less earthy than it's cousin. Black cherry and a hint of black pepper shine through on the nose. Black cherry, black plum, blackberry and blueberry all take their turn charming your palate. Pepper shows up to join the party on the very long finish. Another winner, this has the chops to go long into the next decade.

This was actually the end of the April tasting, so technically the end of this seemingly-never-ending Okanagan trip report. But we are not done yet! Oh no, not even close.

From our trip back to Crazytown a couple of weeks ago, lots more stuff to tell you about.

The Hatch 2017 Lifestyle of a Hobo Muller Thurgau ($25.99)

The second vintage of this rare offering and it is SO much better than last year's, which I actually found a bit underwhelming. Stone fruit, red apple and lychee on the nose. Red apple, apricot and nectarine on the palate. Beautiful mouthfeel and balance acidity. You might have never heard of this grape, but try it.

Black Swift Vineyards 2015 Oak Street Chardonnay ($39.99)

This is as close to an orgasm in a glass as I think I ever want to get. This is a big, bold, buttery Chardonnay; the way Chardonnay should always be made. Aromas of honeysuckle, orange rind, butterscotch and buttered toast. Tropical fruit, peach, caramel and butterscotch on the palate. This is just delicious and I will report back when we try it again in a few years; I suspect it may get even better.

The Hatch 2015 Ross 3.0 ($19.99, from winery only)

So what do you do when your "house" wine is so successful that you sell out early in the season? Well, you make more, of course. Now, they can't just make a totally different wine and put it into the same bottles - so they made Ross O 2.0, and now, after 2.0 was all gone, Ross 3.0! From fruit sourced from the Desert Valley Vineyard on the Golden Mile bench, this 100% Pinot Noir beauty features black cherry, baking spice, licorice and vanilla on the nose. Black fruit, red cherry, a touch of spice and a medium finish. Always a winner!

Black Swift Vineyard 2015 The Long Road Syrah ($49.99)

Aged 16 months in French Oak, this was described to me as a "Tom Jones Approved Sex Bomb". Well, if Tom Jones approves, who am I to disagree? Black cherry, blackberry and black pepper on the nose. Blueberry, blackberry, baking spice, and a hint of sweet bell pepper on the palate. Another beauty that should go long, long into the next decade.

The Hatch 2016 Dynasty Red ($46.99)

From the Hans Estate Vineyard in Osoyoos, this blend features 60% Malbec/30% Syrah and 10% Merlot. Aromas of blackberry jam, boysenberry, black pepper and blueberry. Black fruit, blueberry, plum and lavender. Huge in structure and acidity, this one is really built for the long haul. It's already delicious - decant it if you just can't wait - but this should be a scene stealer in 5 years or so. I will let you know, I have a couple of these waiting to be released into the wild.

The Hatch 2015 Smokeshow ($23.99)

What happens when fires taint, er, "infuse", your grapes with smoke? You can pretend it didn't happen, like a lot of wineries have done, or you can embrace it. 100% Cabernet Franc and unless you are one that is really negative about smokiness in your wine, this is an absolute steal for the money. Blueberry, cherry and smoke on the nose. Yes there is some smoke on the palate as well, but not enough to distract from the tasty blueberry and blackberry flavors. A hint of spice on the long finish. Delicious, and ready to go. It's tough to know how the smoke will affect the wine's ability to age gracefully, and it's already so good, why wait?

Phew, I hope you guys are less tired from reading this as I am from typing it. But, hey, at least this finally finishes off the report from a trip that took place almost 5 months ago!

Next up: Still have a full report on all the wines we enjoyed on our Disney trip a while back, and two more Okanagan trips to report on. We will start with our last trip through the Similkameen Valley and our first ever visit to Orofino!

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