Archive for March, 2019


March 27, 2019

Well, its that special time of year again…no, not Christmas, or even back to school…It is Spring, which means the wineries are starting to offer tastings of their new releases!

First one was today, from Okanagan Falls. Fourteen wineries and a total of 56 wines…not all new releases, but some very interesting wines indeed, and many that I can recommend.

For those not familiar with Okanagan Falls, it is the area northwards along the East Bench of Skaha Lake and across the water to Kalenden. From there, it is south over rolling hills above Vaseux Lake. Beautiful country, to be sure…and home to some very good wines!

I started with the new white wines. Among the most impressive for me was the 2013 Rousanne/ Marsanne/Viognier from Pentage Winery. At almost 6 years old, this hardly qualifies as a “new release”, but it was beautiful and still tasted very young. Dry and quite full bodied – as is usually the case with white Rhone wines – with crisp citrus flavours.

The other white wine I really enjoyed was the 2018 Albarino from Stag’s Hollow. This varietal – from Spain – is rare for BC, but showed great freshness, with dry citrus fruit and no oak at all. Great for summer sipping!

There weren’t as many new Rose’s as I would have thought, but I did find a couple I liked. The 2017 Nelly’s Rose from See Ya Later was one of them, and though now almost two years old, it still had fresh strawberry fruit and was just a touch off dry. Even better was the 2018 Syrah Rose from Stag’s Hollow. It was light pink and bone dry, crisp and refreshing – definitely a summer patio wine.

As for reds, the best were – no surprise – Pinot Noirs and Syrahs. The 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir from Nighthawk Vineyard was very nice – done in concrete vats, so no excessive oak to cover up the ripe, earthy red cherry fruit. Even better was the 2016 Pinot Noir Stag’s Hollow Vineyard from Stag’s Hollow. This was a beautiful, full-bodied wine with earthy cherries that have just a touch of vanilla and ripe tannins – at least 2 – 3 years aging here.

Finally, Syrah, my favourite varietal from BC! First a surprise – 2016 from Blasted Church, who I did not know made one. It is classic northern Rhone style, with peppery, earthy back cherries and no oak. Gorgeous for drinking now. The other one that really stood out was from Pentage – the 2014. It is two years older but a bigger wine, with the same flavour profile but still fine tannins, suggesting a few years in the cellar wouldn’t hurt.

Those are the highlights, then, at least for me. Lots to choose from this spring from Okanagan Falls!