At $15, it is rare, in any country and vintage, to find a varietally-correct, balanced pinot like this one. Great value that could last a few years in the cellar, even. Recommended. RC
One thing is certain about Natalie MacLean: she can sure spin a yarn. Unquenchable, the latest book by this popular Canadian author with a keen sense of self-promotion and a remarkable level of energy, is full of entertaining stories.
The alcohol level is a modest 9.5%, making it a perfect luncheon wine – among other possibilities. Recommended. RC
The relationship between tradition and innovation is not a linear one. Sometimes, it can even go full circle. Take appassimento, for instance, an Italian tradition of partially drying grapes before turning them into wine that is taking hold considerably in Canada’s Niagara region.
Quite an unusual wine from this Okanagan Valley winery : a field blend of grenache, viognier and marsanne, pressed together and fermented together in oak barrels, thus creating an unusual, largely blanc de noirs, white wine. Coming from a cool vintage, it has an edgy, vibrant touch, combining the aromatics of Rhône varieties with a blend of lime and tropical flavors. Crisp, it also has good weight and a fairly round mouthfeel. creating a unique profile and balance. It is, at this point, a very young wine. A year or two in bottle will round it out, and it may well have several more years of life in it. Highly Recommended. RC
You will rarely, if ever, visit a wine region about which you know essentially nothing. That was the curious position in which I found myself as I arrived for TasteCamp North last weekend in Niagara, Canada.
2006 was a truly exceptional season in the Okanagan Valley, with one of the earliest starts to harvest and a long back season to leave grapes hanging and gaining ripeness and complexity. The 2006 S.L.C. (Single Lot Collection) Merlot from Mission Hill is a great testimony to the quality of the vintage, with its fine dark fruit, pleasantly chocolatey and spicy notes, fine, almost powdery tannins and very good length. Winemaker John Simes’ precise work is visible in this top-tier cuvée made from selected grapes grown at the southern edge of the Okanagan Valley, creating a well-crafted, balanced wine. It’s a textbook New World merlot whose 14% alcohol doesn’t show. Mission Hill wines are available in the US and they are worth seeking out. Recommended.