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Summer needs its own wines

Time:2020-04-26 08:25wine - Red wine life health Click:

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Taylor Whelan must have been visualizing spring and summer when he fashioned these six wines.

The winemaker from CedarCreek Estate Winery in Kelowna has crafted two whites, a sparkling and three light reds that beg to be sipped in the sunshine on the patio, be invited along for a picnic or welcomed at a barbecue.

The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc ($19) has the expected gooseberry aromas and flavours, but also a surprising shot of grapefruit and some added complexity and minerality from being fermented, not just in stainless steel tanks, but a bit in concrete tanks and used oak barrels, as well.

The classic pear, apple and peach profile is there in the 2019 Pinto Gris ($19), which also has some additional complexity thanks to fermentation in stainless steel (93%) and neutral oak barrels (7%).

The Home Block Sparkling Brut ($25) is seriously good bubbly, but doesn’t take itself too seriously because it’s in a clear bottle with a pry-off crown cap.

That means its candied citrus peel, nectarine and white rose aromas and flavours are as apropos at a casual lunch as it is at a celebration.

Red wine usually doesn’t go with warm weather, but Pinot Noir is one of the lightest there is, so it can be enjoyed on its own on the deck, on the boat, at a picnic or at a barbecue.

CedarCreek makes three Pinots for every taste and budget.

The Estate 2018 Pinot Noir ($27) delights with bright cherry and blackberry aromas and flavours.

The 2017 Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir ($55) is a premium bottling from grapes grown in the lower-slope Black 2 section of the winery’s Home Block Vineyard on Lakeshore Road. The clay soil there, facing Okanagan Lake, produces fruit that makes a wine with flavours of ripe cherry, cloves and minerality.

The 2017 Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir ($55) comes from grapes cultivated higher on the slope where the soil is a sandy loam. Such soil contributes to fruit that produces a Pinot with plum and red currant aromas and flavours backed by spice and gamey notes.

Because of the COVID crisis, CedarCreek’s tasting room is closed right now, but you can order wines online or buy at most government and private liquor stores.

The pandemic also means the winery’s Home Block Restaurant is closed for dining in, but is still open for take-out.

Of course, you can also order a bottle of wine to go with your take-out.

Try some island wines

In the Okanagan, we often get caught up in Valley vintages and don’t give wines from other regions their due.

To cure that, let’s take a virtual tasting trip to Blue Grouse Winery in Duncan on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island’s weather is wetter and cooler than the Okanagan’s, so island wines tend to be leaner, lighter and more subtle.

For instance, Ortega, a German-developed cool climate varietal, has become Vancouver Island’s signature white grape for producing light, yet lush, wines with orange peel fruitness with some caramel and white flower notes.

The Blue Grouse 2019 Ortega ($24) is a classic example.

The Quill 2019 Pinot Gris ($23) has notes of pear and honey.

The Quill 2019 Rose is hearty, dark pink and full of sweet-tart, strawberry-rhubarb tastes.

The 2018 Quill Gamay Noir is a light, red wine bursting with juicy cherry and plum freshness.

Blue Grouse wines can only be purchased in the Okanagan at Cask and Barrel Liquor Store in West Kelowna or online at BlueGrouse.ca.

Until the end of the month, Blue Grouse is donating $2 from every bottle of wine sold to Nourish Cowichan to feed hungry children.

2 wines each at 2house

A husband-and-wife winemaking team have come together to create 2house.

After eight years as general manager and winemaker at Bench 1775 Winery in Naramata, Val Tait is moving on to join her husband, Ian Sutherland, founder of Poplar Grove Winery in Naramata, to create a new winery.

2house will see Tait and Sutherland work both collaboratively and independently.

Each winemaker will craft two wines per vintage.

The pair will source all their grapes from vineyards owned by the Gill brothers of Gold Hill Winery.

Over her eight years at Bench 1775, Tait helped grow the brand from production of 850 cases a year to 26,000 cases annually.

2house wines will only be available to consumers by invitation, so watch for summer release information on Instagram @2housewine to snag an invitiation.

“We intent to really connect with the people we are making wine for, to have direct, strong and personal relationships with our customers,” said Sutherland.

Add wine to your takeout

Takeout is the new dine-in.

So, while you might not be able to eat in at restaurants right now because of the novel coronavirus crisis, you can order take-out food to eat at home paired, of course, with wine.

The 29 members of the Naramata Bench Winery want to remind you that many restaurants and pubs offering takeout

can also include a bottle of wine, at menu price, with your order for pick-up or delivery.

Naturally, the association would like you to choose local and order a bottle from a Naramata winery to go with your take-out meal.

Some winery shops are open so you can purchase wine and most have online or phone ordering options, so you can pick up wine or have it delivered to your door, often without a shipping fee.

Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover. Email: steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca

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