Tasting some top whites and sparkling wines from Canada’s British Columbia


Tasting some top whites and sparkling wines from Canada’s British Columbia

This was a really good tasting showcasing a spectrum of whites and bubbles from Canada’s British Columbia province. There’s a lot of very interesting wine coming from the region, and this selection includes bottles from the main wine region (the Okanagan Valley), plus the smaller Similkameen Valley and also the islands.

Bella Pet Nat Mariani 509 Gamay 2017 Okanagan, Canada
11% alcohol, pH 2.98. Clone 509 Gamay (the other one on this vineyard is 787), 4 h skin contact, barrel fermented and then bottled to finish fermentation in bottle. Distinctive, tight and focused with crisp citrus fruit and a hint of plum and red cherry. Grown-up and serious with good acidity. Dry and a bit structure. 90/100

Haywire The Bub Pet Nat 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged Pet Nat. This is beautifully pure and clean with bright citrus fruit and just a hint of pithiness. Lovely direct, pure lemony fruit here. Delicious. 90/100

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2014 Okanagan, Canada
Planted in 1968. 12.5% alcohol, 4 g/litre dosage, low juice yield of 475 litres/ton. Tight and a bit pithy with focused, slightly waxy citrus fruit. Some herbiness too. Waxy and quite textural. 89/100

Summerhill Cipes Blanc de Blanc 2012 Okanagan, Canada
pH 3.22, rs 4 g/litre. This is focused and pure with nice citrus and pear fruit. There’s a touch of toastiness in the background. Lovely balance to this wine. Very expressive. 92/100

Blue Mountain Brut Reserve RD 2009 Okanagan, Canada
4 g/l dosage, disgorged 2016. Lovely complexity here with bright citrus fruit and a hint of pear. Some creamy hints with lovely weight and balance. There’s purity, focus and complexity. 93/100

Sea Star Ortega 2017 Pender Island, BC, Canada
pH 3.1, rs 7 g/litre. Organically grown Ortega. This is deliciously fruity and lively with attractive lemon, grape and mango fruit. Rounded and fresh, with delicacy and almost excessive fruitiness, with a hint of sweetness on the finish. Lovely stuff. 90/100


Culmina Decora 2016 Okanagan, Canada
100% Riesling from Margaret’s Bench Vineyard. 4.2 g/l residual sugar, pH 3.25, 13.5% alcohol. Powerful and focused with nice apricot and tangerine hints to the linear citrus fruit. Very bright and pure, with lovely richness. But it’s balanced. 90/100

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2015 Okanagan, Canada
From 1978 plantings. 13.2% alcohol, pH 2.81, 9.3 g/l TA, 8.8 g/l sugar. So intense and complex with lovely bright lemon and lime fruit. Very high acidity, but it’s really well balanced with great complex and intensity. Has such purity and focus. 94/100

Synchromesh Storm Haven Riesling 2017 Okanagan, Canada
8.7% alcohol, pH 2.77, 11.4 g/l acidity, 53 g/l residual sugar. Beautifully balanced with amazing tension between the acidity and the sugar. Very high acid lime and lemon flavours with lovely purity and intensity. This will live for a long time and it’s absolutely lovely. 94/100

Little Farm Chardonnay 2016 Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada
Complex, waxy and a bit nutty with ripe apple and citrus fruit. Has a little waxy, slightly mushroomy notes with brightness and some pithy hints. Complex, savoury and detailed. 91/100

Liquidity Estate Chardonnay 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Ripe and fruit driven with some apricot and pineapple richness, as well as some bright citrus fruit. Has a hint of creaminess and some bready hints. Delicious and fruity, and very approachable. 89/100

Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Old Main Road Vineyard Tribute Series Donovan Tildesley 2016 Okanagan, Canada
From Naramata Bench. Started in stainless steel then to French oak (20% new) to finish fermentation. Complex and intense: there’s lots of nutty, spicy richness but also good acidity and focused citrus fruit. Really complex and full on, with richness allied to freshness. Lovely stuff. 93/100

Painted Rock Chardonnay 2016 Okanagan, Canada
There’s a slight waxy, plastic hint on the nose (a touch of reduction?), with nice bright citrus and pear fruit. Quite linear and focused with good balance between the fruit and the slightly spicy oak. This is quite compact and fresh with nice brightness to the fruit. Carries the 14.8% alcohol quite well. 89/100

Lock & Worth Semillon 2016 Okanagan, Canada
Made by Matt Sherlock. Vineyard planted in 1993 in Kelowna. Barrel fermented on full solids. Slightly cloudy. Lovely purity to this wine: really complex, lemony and textured with hints of lanolin and preserved citrus peel. Some baked apple hints in the background. Lovely acidity here: such a beautiful, layered, distinctive wine. Showing beautifully now. 94/100

Terravista Fandango 2017 Okanagan, Canada
Verdejo and Albariño, fermented in stainless steel, 4.3 g/l rs. Naramata bench. Fresh, fruity and lively with bright citrus fruit. Has lemon and tangerine with a slight bitter pithy twist. Nice purity with good acidity. Fresh with just a hint of mint and herb. 88/100

50th Parallel Pinot Gris 2017 Okanagan, Canada
80% stainless steel, 20% oak. 13.5% alcohol, 6 g/l residual sugar. This has a slight waxy, plastic edge to the grape and citrus fruit. Slightly unusual with mint and herb characters under the fruit. 86/100

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2017 Okanagan, Canada
Naramata bench, 100% stainless steel. 3 hours skin contact. Lovely purity and balance here with bright tangerine and lemon fruit as well as some grapiness. Very crisp and well balanced with nice acidity and fruitiness. 90/100

Nichol Pinot Gris 2017 Okanagan, Canada
At the end of the Naramata bench with granite bedrock. 36 hours on skins on open top fermenters. Pressed to old French barriques. Pink/copper character. Lovely focus to this wine with good acidity. Subtle herb characters as well as a hint of cherry and plum, together with nice lemony brightness. Has a bit of structure, too. 92/100

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