It seems to be the time of the year for “top ten lists” (both the Sun and Globe carried lists in the past couple of weeks). So I thought I might as well weigh in with the top 10 BC wines from your cellar to drink this fall (in alphabetical order):
1. Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir
One of the longest aging Pinots from the province, particularly in hot, ripe years. I had my last bottle of the 2000 late last year and it was still in beautiful shape. So are the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, all of which I have also had in the last year or so. 2006 and 2007 are still probably a little young for me, although a 2007 drunk at Lift Restaurant in July was stunning. It blew away one of our party from California.
2. Kettle Valley Hayman Vineyard Pinot Noir
This is the longest living Pinot I BC and one of the rarest (only about 80 cases a year). Those lucky enough to have it in their cellar can dig out any of the ’02 – ’05 vintages and treat themselves! I had both the ’03 and ’04 this year and they were great.
3. Kettle Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
A slightly more Californian take on Pinot Noir (similar to the Blue Mountain Reserve), it also ages well but is more approachable young. ’02 – ’06 would provide great drinking (I had the. In the past year, I have had the ’03 and ’04 and they were lovely.
4. La Frenz Cabernet Sauvignon
The great thing about this wine as it ages, the oak settles down a bit but the fruit remains amazingly fresh and ripe (an amazing accomplishment given how hard it is to get this varietal fully ripe on a regular basis). I recently had the 2005 and 2006 and both are still young but drinking beautifully. I would expect the same for 2002 and 2003, both of which I tried last year.
5. La Frenz Merlot
Not as long lived as its Cab brother, but the ’05, ’06 and ’07 all tasted great when tasted this year.
6. La Frenz Small Lots Riesling
Only one white wine, but it is a beauty! This wine is so tasty young it is hard to resist, but bottles of the ’06, ’07 and ’08 were nicely developed this year. In a good vintage, this may well be a 10 year wine as it is made similarly to its German cousins i.e. a touch sweet on the finish.
7. Nichol Syrah
Maybe the best French-style Syrah in BC, it als gets more complex with age. I had both the ’98 and ’00 at age ten and they were gorgeous, dead ringers for a Crozes-Hermitage from the Rhone Valley. Also try the ’02 or ’03 (both gorgeous this year), or even the ’04. I am still experimenting with the Reserve; the ’03 was great this year, but young still.
8. Nota Bene
Price increases have pushed this wine off my “buy lists”, but I still have the ’02 and ’03 from before things went nuts. Great for Bordeaux lovers!
9. Township 7 Syrah
This wine is not as big or long lasting as the Nichol, but the ’03, ’04, ’05 and ’06 were all outstanding this year. I hope the same will be said for the more tannic/less fruity 2007.
10. Township 7 Merlot
Finally, maybe the nicest “fruit driven” Merlot from B.C. The ’06 and ’05 were beautiful this year and not showing any signs of decline. The 2007? See my comments about the Syrah above…
So there you go…a few bottles to keep you warm on a cold, rainy night!