I expect this label will not be imported into Australia, but it shows what is being done with merlot elsewhere – in this case, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s a delicious rendition of the variety. In the glass, there are aromatics of chocolate and red berries. The palate is pure fruited, balanced and textured. Bottled unfined and a native yeast fermentation. Few cases made. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14.4%. Price: $20.
This is a sound cool climate merlot from Poplar Grove in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in Canada. Perhaps most interesting is the cross country comparison to Australian merlot, which has suffered with perceptions. I’ve written on this at some length previously (see my post here). This BC merlot’s expression is immediately more like the Bordeaux version of the grape: medium bodied, fresh in style and balanced. Climate, intent or food for thought? (Region: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada, Rating: Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, for current drinking, Drink: now, Tasted: Jan, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
“Meritage” is not a word seen on Australian labels, but refers in a North American context to Bordeaux blend style wines. I wasn’t aware of its use outside of the United States, but the evidence here is otherwise. In the glass, this is another lovely cabernet blend from BC with aromatics of clove, struck match and herbs. The palate is balanced, medium bodied and blackcurrant driven. Like a Yarra Valley cabernet in style, but without the eucalyptus. (Region: British Columbia, Canada, Rating: Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now, Tasted: Jan, 2017)
Other vintages reviewed:
I quite liked the 2013 Mission Hill reserve cabernet sauvignon. A touch more than the 2011 (see my review here) but both are still very pleasant. The 2013 has a classic medium bodied cabernet expression perhaps without showing any “above and beyond” characters through the palate. Tobacco, cedar, leather and dried herbs round things up. Correct and well made.
Vendors and website: http://www.missionhillwinery.com
Here’s one the last Okanagan Valley reviews. It’s from Stag’s Hollow and is a Bordeaux blend, this time 49% merlot, 37.5% cabernet franc and the remainder made up of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot. A right bank style really. It’s a lovely wine too. Cloves, herbs and bouquet garnis frame the aromatics. The palate is medium bodied and balanced. At around the C$20 mark, it’s frankly quite interesting.
Vendors and website: http://stagshollowwinery.com
Forgive my continuing North American theme (I promise I will attend to the growing mountain of new arrivals from Australia very soon!), but I just can’t help wanting to write up wines that I really enjoyed. Here we venture quite a bit north from the Napa Valley to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. I’ve previously reviewed the 2011 of this wine (see here) rating it highly, and the 2012 tasted here is good too. This is a very balanced wine and principally an exercise in cloves and blackcurrants. It very much reminds of a cru bourgeois in another example of the Okanagan region’s capabilities.
Vendors and website: http://www.osoyooslarose.com
There are worse places in the world than British Columbia in Canada. Must so many places that are so far away be quite so compelling? Although my reason for being in BC was not wine related, I could not help but to explore the local wine offerings and the locals seemed excited about them too, which to be honest didn’t hurt. I wonder if we are more blasé or Eurocentric in our paradigms? The wines from the Okanagan Valley were impressive, particularly I thought the Bordeaux blends. Typing an entry into “wine-searcher” yields however a nil return here in Australia, so this will I expect remain something of an impractical interest. Fortunately, it will not be alone.
You don’t see too many blends of merlot and cabernet franc in Australia. This one’s also from the new world, but from a place you might not have heard of – the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in Canada. I expect it can’t be found in Australia, but since I am not actually selling anything here(!) I thought why not post it. It’s a blend of 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc and proves both surprisingly Bordeaux like (for a Bordeaux fan) and very drinkable. It has very typical cedar, tobacco and blackcurrant aromas and a lovely balance on the palate.