I was just taking a gander at what’s new here at My Wine Canada, and can’t believe that in the short time we’ve been around, we’re now featuring wines from over 75 Canadian wineries from coast to coast! As I’m based in British Columbia, there are a good group of them that I’m quite excited about finally being able to share with the rest of the country. For this week’s Top Wine Picks, I thought I’d pass along some personal favourites from some of the newer kids on this block.
What I love in particular about this Riesling from Graham and Lyndsay O’Rourke’s Naramata winery is the texture. Courtesy of 14 hours of skin contact after a whole cluster pressing, the tropical guava, pineapple and starfruit notes are tethered together with just a little grip, making the wine capable of latching onto heartier poultry dishes, seafood pastas and curries. A nice kiss of pink grapefruit sweetness on the finish caps it all off well.
A killer aromatic-white bargain from the Northern part of Okanagan wine country that’s more about the sum than its parts. Those parts, if you must know, are Bacchus, Pinot Blanc and Riesling, but when harmoniously blended together as they are here, you have yourself a highly-gulpable ode to sunny nectarine, apricot and peachy stonefruit, singing with lively acidity, as well as being oh-so-light on its feet. So easy. So good.
Niche Wine Co. 2014 Pinot Noir - $21.61
A good price-point for this lively and buoyant take on the variety. Too often, I find inexpensive Pinots are handled too heavily in the winery, resulting in wines that lean more towards softer Merlots than on-point Pinots. Not here. Light and elegant, this one’s all soft, red berry fruit and dark plum, along with a smattering of wild mushrooms and herbs. A little oak treatment keeps everything in check without getting in the way of all that pretty fruit. A charmer!
Yup, Tempranillo. And, no, you won’t mistake this for old-school Rioja, but you’ll admire how well the Okanagan (and winemaker Dwight Sick) can treat the variety. Earthy red fruit, fruity tobacco, a splash of vanilla and a fine strip of leather give it varietal typicity, while well-balanced acid, distinct minerality and a tiny wisp of sage give it British Columbian, hometown pride. Cool stuff.
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.