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.