Tasting some top red wines from BC, Canada

Following on from the BC white and fizz tasting, here’s some top rosés and reds from BC, with a focus on the Okanagan Vally, as you might expect. There were some lovely wines here.

Blue Grouse Quill Rosé 2017 Vancouver Island
From the Cowichan Valley. Blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. No malolactic fermentation. Crisp and focused with very clean citrussy fruit and some hints of pink grapefruit and cherry. Very bright and focused with nice crispness. So fresh and bright. 90/100

Quails’ Gate Lucy’s Block Rosé 2017
80% Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir, young vines planted in 2014. Crisp and lively with a faint hint of creaminess, keen acidity, and lively lemon, tangerine and cherry notes. Very bright and fresh, in a dry style. 87/100

Orofino Gamay 2016 Similkameen Valley, Canada
12.6% alcohol. From two neighbouring vineyards, with stony granitic soils. Destemmed, with minimal sulfur dioxide. This is really aromatic with floral, sweet liqueur-like cherry fruit, as well as some raspberry jam notes. The palate is really fresh and nicely crunchy, with vivid sweet berry and cherry fruits. It has a lushness combined with freshness, and these just a hint of wildness here too. Such a pretty wine with light, fine grained tannic structure. 92/100

Haywire Gamay Noir 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Organically farmed, two high-elevation vineyards, part destemmed and part whole bunch, then matured in concrete. Fresh and juicy with nice definition to the raspberry and cherry fruit. Quite grainy and textural with a stony dimension. Quite serious with a bright, fresh juicy edge. Vital and alive. 92/100

Unsworth Pinot Noir 2015 Vancouver Island
Clones 667, 828, 777 and 115, destemmed without crushing, 10-14 months in oak, clones kept separate. Lively and intense with a spicy, woody edge providing a nice foil to the robust black cherry and plum fruit. Lots of cherry and a hint of dark chocolate. Impressive stuff. 90/100

50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2015 Okanagan, Canada 
Estate fruit from the very top of the Okanagan, with six Dijon clones. Bold and dense with nice definition to the grippy dark fruits. Nice structure here with lots of fruit. A very dense Pinot Noir, with a lovely sweet fruit personality, and a product of the very warm vintage of 2015. 90/100

Liquidity Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 Okanagan, Canada
From the Okanagan Falls area. 1994 plantings, 115, 667, 828 clones. Partial wild ferment. 35% new oak. Very floral, rich and fruity, with perfumed, slightly meaty sweet black cherry and plum fruit. Clean, rich, ripe and modern with some oak influence. 90/100

Lock & Worth Merlot 2017 Okanagan, Canada
Plantings from 1995 on a 2 acres site in Naramata. Sweet, intense, tangy and juicy with lovely richness of texture, and a green herbal edge. Sappy, vivid, salty and peppery with lots of interest. A bit of sweet tomato sauce to it. Unusual but interesting. 89/100

Summerhill Robert Bateman Artist’s Series Grasslands Organic Merlot 2014 Okanagan, Canada
15% alcohol. Rich, dense and sweetly fruited with a cedary, spicy edge to the ripe, lush, intense cherry and berry fruit. Very rich and with some savoury, chalky, gravelly undertones. A big, sweet wine with some charm but also ripeness and alcohol. 88/100

Stag’s Hollow Grenache 2016 Okanagan, Canada
14% alcohol. Destemmed with 40% of the ripest stems added back. Sweet, lush and ripe with a slightly jammy edge to the raspberry and cherry fruit. Has a nice slightly bitter twist to the fruit. Very attractive and ripe, with a supple personality. Good balance here. 91/100

TH Wines Malbec 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Golden Mile. 20 cases produced. Tank fermented and then aged in neutral oak, wild ferment, low sulfites. Really fresh, focused, juicy and sappy with well integrated green notes. Floral and pure with a lovely fruit-driven personality. Good acidity. 93/100

Painted Rock Cabernet Franc 2015 Okanagan, Canada
15.3% alcohol. 4 day cold soak, 21 days on skins, 30% new French oak. Rich, concentrated and bold with slight ashy hints. Has a gravelly edge. Very Cabernet Franc but in a bold, rich style with lush black fruits. Seductive and bold. A statement wine that works quite well. 92/100

Culmina Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Okanagan, Canada
64% new French oak. 14% alcohol. Intense, dense, bold and very tannic with masses of bold blackcurrant fruit. Not over-ripe but very vivid and intense with lovely depth. A massive, structured, dense with but still has freshness. 93/100

La Stella Expressivo 2015 Okanagan, Canada
14.8% alcohol. 55% Can Franc, 20% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot, 5% Sangiovese. French and Slavonian oak. Ripe, warm, cedary, spicy and with hints of tea and herbs. Lovely sweet berry and cherry fruit. Has a bit of earth and spice with a sweet lift to the fruit. 92/100

Clos de Soleil Signature 2013 Similkameen Valley, Canada
Blend of two vineyards, 51% Merlot, 34% Cab Sauv, 11% Cab Franc, 2% petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 17 months French oak. Aromatic and quite expressive with a spicy, cedary edge to rthe dense, structured blackberry and black cherry fruit. Nice savoury structure here with great balance. Quite stylish with lovely density, and just beginning to enter its drinking window. 93/100

Nichol Vineyard Old Vines Syrah 2015 Okanagan, Canada
17 rows of Syrah planted in 1989, the oldest in Canada. 13.2% alcohol. Old oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Concentrated, fresh and quite peppery with lovely density. Great definition to this wine with good structure and acidity. Just a fabulous, dense yet elegant expression of Syrah with great focus. 94/100

Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrah 2014 Okanagan, Canada
14.6% alcohol. 56% new oak here, but the wine swallows it well. Lush, fresh, floral black cherry fruit with some olive tapenade and some peppery notes. Has ripness but also some muscle, as well as some oak. This should age really well. Impressive, although the oak sticks out a tiny bit. Superb, given a bit more time. 93/100

Poplar Grove Syrah 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Southern Osoyoos. Destemmed and crushed, cold soaked 3 days, partial wild ferment. Dense, sweet and bold with rich, lush, bold black cherry and blackberry fruit. Very rich and quite structured with modern, ripe, slightly meaty fruit. 89/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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