Friday, March 23, 2007

Snow, Food, Wine...

So, time to summarize a week of single appelation Okanagan wines. I covered Mission Hill yesterday, so today I'll start with Quail's Gate. I have to admit I was surprised at their Pinot Noir Reserve, 2004. It was an interesting tipple for someone who is not a big pinot fan. I actually enjoyed it more than their 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It had a medium body and that indescribable good length that pinot noirs can have. Well done, worth the $23. The cab and the merlot were quite average ("OK") and simply put, not worth the $23 each. Their 2004 Old Vines Foch was very disappointing for $40. I always like to try these weirdo hybrid wines just for the hell of it; this is the most expensive Marechal Foch I have have ever tasted. It was thick and rich enough, but just not very complex for the money. A good wine, I would have gladly paid $15 for it, but not $40. We tried the Mount Boucherie Winery, but found their wines not really good enough for the money at the tasting and only bought a non-descript cab or something (I don't even remember what it was it was so plain). The Jackson-Triggs Meritage Reserve 2004 was fruity but very average , an "OK" wine also, not worth the $20. The Summerhill Pyramid Winery is an oddball sort of place. The shop, tasting room and restaurant all seem normal but these weirdos store their wine barrels in a big concrete pyramid - no kidding! They seem to think it ages better due to the pyramid "effect". Well, just goes to prove that gimmicks don't end with wine labels! Their wines up for tasting were just "OK", but they wouldn't let us into their high end platinum line so we decided to eat in their restaurant since we were starving (especially Carlo) and the markup was only about $5 a bottle. We started with one of their Platinum vinifera wines, it was so average that I can't remember if it was a cab or merlot, but I can tell you it was a rip off at $40 a bottle. I then ordered their Platinum Series, Baco Noir, 2005. This experience was exactly the same as with the Quail's Gate Foch...a dense, good but slightly funky weirdo wine, also not worth the $40. We ended at Cedar Creek, one of Joel's favourite BC wineries. The chap behind the counter was bored, he had had only a few visitors in all day so his eyes lit up when we walked in. He was quite nice and let us taste about 9 wines. Their Platinum Merlot 2004 was quite good, bordering on "wow". Pricey at $40 each, we nevertheless bought 4 of each and 4 of their Platinum Cab and Meritage also, which they wouldn't let us taste due to "limited availability" (this is where tasting with the sommelier at Mission Hill really helped...). I'll tell you how they taste when we crack them. I tried their 2003 Platinum Merlot a couple of days later when my brother-in-law Doug showed up at my sister's house. The 2003 is a "wow" wine, at this point it is better than the '04.
Well, if the weather doesn't co-operate for fantastic snowboarding, at least in the Okanagan you can go wine tasting instead!!


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