Posts Tagged ‘Nk Mip’

SOME TIPS ON VISITING WINERIES DURING HARVEST SEASON

September 28, 2016

It’s Fall, and many people will be visiting wine country for festivals and to taste wines! So here are a few tips before you go…and some recommendations on where to go if you are visiting wineries in BC.

1. Remember it is harvest season – seems simple, but it is important…as much as wineries welcome you at this time of year, they are also getting ready – or even starting – to harvest this year’s vintage! That makes it very busy and stressful at all wineries. Keep that in mind if you get the sense your hosts have other things on their minds!

2. Fewer is better – whether it is the number of wineries or wines (or both), go for quality, not quality. No matter how good a taster you are, “palate fatigue” can set in pretty quickly. So pick the wineries you want to see in advance, and even the specific wines you want to taste. That will lead to a better experience.

3. Spit if you can – I know some people think it is gross, but spitting will really help you taste better – and more – wines. All wineries will have spittoons, and those leading tastings will actually be thankful if you spit.

4. Only buy if you really want to – unless you have unlimited resources, it’s okay to be choosey what you buy (if anything). Wineries won’t be insulted, particularly these days as most of them charge a tasting fee anyway. If you like it and can afford it, then buy it. Otherwise, don’t worry about it!

5. Taste and move on – finally, whether you are visiting wineries or going to a big tasting, don’t linger in the tasting line! Taste, maybe ask a question, but then move…you can always come back to taste more wines. One of the things that drives me and many “winos” crazy is people who just stand there for 10 or more minutes talking to the host or each other. That just backs up the line and gets people mad. So move it!

And as for tasting here in BC? Here is a short list of wineries to visit (or whose wines to taste) from our main regions:

1. Penticton/Naramata – La Frenz, Howling Bluff, Nichol, Marichel, Kettle Valley, Moraine
2. Similkameen – Eau Vivre, Orofino
3. Okanagan Falls – Blue Mountain
4. Southern Okanagan – Burrowing Owl, Nk Mip, Quinta Ferreira, Church & State, Moon Curser
5. Vancouver Island – Averill Creek, Rocky Creek, Vignetti Zanatta
6. Fraser Valley – Mt. Lehman, Vista d’Oro, Domaine de Chaberton

Enjoy the Fall!

SB

http://www.sbwinesite.com

Iconic BC Red Wine Tasting? Should be Pinot Noir, not Cabernet Sauvignon!

November 15, 2013

I have read a couple of times in the last while about “Iconic BC Red Wine” tastings. And all of them feature Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from the usual big wineries.

Well, I’m not against the concept. But let me show you why I think it should feature BC Pinot Noir instead (and who should be there).

The first reason has to do with how I define what an “iconic red wine” is. To some, it’s all about reputation, size and — seemingly — price. But that seems to leave out few key components, like style, value and quality.

All of these subjective qualifiers are, of course, relative to one’s own personal tastes. But when I look at them, I also see more than that.

For style, the so-called Cabernet ‘icons’ in BC go for Bordeaux – tannic, herbal and woody. Not much fruit there when young, or when the tannins subside either.

Value? Well, many of these wines are over $40 (with some well over that). Sorry, but that just doesn’t fly in my mind for BC wines.

And quality? That’s the most subjective one, of course. And it’s hard for me to objective given I don’t like this style much. But it seems to me that there is often so much tannin and wood, relative to the fruit, that the quality has to be questioned as well.

Because of all these factors, I don’t think you can really have a BC Iconic Red Wine tasting with Cabernets. Personally, I can only name one wine that fits the bill – La Frenz’s Grand Total Reserve!

But Pinot Noir – that’s a different story!

There are a number of very good to great Pinots being made in BC, and most wine dweebs like me agree on enough of them to hold this kind of tasting. My even would include:
* Kettle Valley Hayman Vineyard
* Kettle Valley Reserve
* Blue Mountain Stripe Label Reserve
* Eau Vivre
* Howling Bluff
* La Frenz Reserve
* NkMip Qwam Qmpt
* Averill Creek (regular bottling)

All of these wines meet the three criteria above – $40 or less, classic style (mostly Cali, although a couple of Burgundies in there), and undisputed quality. You could even throw in a few older vintages to reinforce this, as the Haymen and Blue Mountain develop beautifully over 5+ years.

I also know some of these were in the recent Pinot Noir festival tasting up in the Okanagan, so others must also agree with me!

So…who wants to put this on? I will MC it for free!!

SB

http://www.sbwinesite.com

HOLIDAY SHOPPING FOR BC WINES!

December 12, 2012

Okay, second last wine blog of the year, and let’s focus on the best BC wines that are currently available in the government liquor stores.

Reds first this time, starting with what may be the best BC red wine value since the 1998 Tinhorn Creek Merlot. It’s another Merlot, although this time from Cassini Cellars, and what an amazing wine! Purple, super ripe – but not jammy – black plums, a touch of earth and herbs, and no oak in sight anywhere. Incredible wine, and for $17.99, a ridiculous value as well.

For a couple of bucks more, a nice Pinot Noir from one of BC’s most consistent wineries. Nk Mip Cellars makes very nice Pinot Noir, year in, year out, and the 2010 is no exception. Look for a Cali/Burgundy cross here from a style perspective – lots of ripe, red cherry fruit, but also earth, spice and a bit of mushroom. At less than $20, this wine would give many Pinots from around the world a serious run for their money.

Finally, a Bordeaux blend. Now, nobody faint – I know they are not my style of wine. But this one – from Moon Curser – is very nice, and nicely priced! The 2010 Border Vines is a mix of all the usual grapes, but much riper than most of these kinds of wines. It shows black currants, oak and cedar, but the former is equal to the latter, making it very nice to drink. And that is the case both now and for the future, as there are some tannins here that will allow it to age and develop for 3 – 5 years. It’s $24.99 – compare that to $45+++, and you will see the value!

So what about white wines? Well, Quail’s Gate once again gives us a nice dry Riesling, which might be their best wine (next to the Marechal Foch). Bone dry, it has classic flinty, minerally, citrus fruit – crisp, medium bodied, and very nice to drink now. It is also very reasonably priced at $16.99.

Moon Curser grabs another recommendation for five bucks more with its 2010 Afraid of the Dark. This is a rarity for BC – a blend of white Rhone grape varietals, and it is a beauty. Avoiding the resiny taste that sometimes comes with these wines, it is dry, not too fruity, and surprisingly full-bodied. For $21.90 it competes well with other wines in that price category.

The final white is another new addition to the BC Liquor stores – the 2010 Alibi by Black Hills. Because of drastically increasing costs, this is the only wine I can still recommend from the winery (the red Nota Bene is over $53 now!!!). It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend, very much like a white Graves from Bordeaux. Look for a touch of oak, crisp, dry citrus, and medium body. At $24.90, it isn’t cheap, but its French cousins are more than twice that much, hence the value!

Finally, sweet and sparkling! For the latter, an amazing value given the style. The NV Brut by Neck of the Woods in Langley, B.C. tastes like a classic Champagne – toasty, yeasty, bone dry. Almost all wines of this style and quality are $50+++, so kudos to them for it!

Sweet wine recommendations are tougher in BC, but a fun one to try is actually made from fruit. In this case, its blackberries, and the NV Cowichan Blackberry by Cherry Point on Vancouver Island is like a good liqueur. A little goes a long way here, and it will do well at any holiday party!

So there is BC wines for the holidays! One more to go – my recommendations for Christmas Dinner next week.

SB

http://www.sbwinesite.com