Some exciting new-vintage whites have arrived, and although they are not equally distributed throughout the retail system, you can certainly find them with a little searching. Or, just go straight to the wineries, always worth a short getaway trip.
From Blue Mountain, which built its reputation on classy chardonnay and elegant pinot noir, comes a delightful, crisp, mineral-laced sauvignon blanc, mediated with some soft stone fruits and plenty of nice acidity. A grilled fish, skin on, is just about perfect with this. Then there is the winery’s perennial over-achiever, pinot blanc, which is well-structured and a bit herbaceous, with a delightful hint of roasted pineapple mixed in.
And Okanagan Crush Pad made a fantastic riesling this year, for its Narrative label. It is packed with citrus and peach, but has a thrilling acidity, making it stand out from many new world rieslings, which tend to the sweetish side of the equation. And Haywire pinot gris is another smash. A wonderful, rich, almost unctuous mouthfeel, with great structure and a lovely long finish. Finally, should you come across a bottle of the Haywire Free Form natural wine, do buy it. It is a sauvignon blanc that is still a bit cloudy in the bottle, since there is no filtering, and almost no human intervention. It is flat out delicious.
The Blue Mountain and Spierhead pinot noirs are highly recommended, but there are also two knockout cabernet francs to try. First is the rich, luscious, blackberry-laden Black Sage, with a hint of chocolate and even some lavender. But most of all this wine has explosively delicious black fruits, all wrapped around a great acidic backbone.
The Narrative cabernet franc is also fantastic, but a marked contrast in style to the Black Sage. This one is more reminiscent of the sublime Culmina. It has some of that dark berry fruit, but also an intriguing and flavourful element of sage, maybe a hint of cassis, and bright acidity to make it almost jump right out of the glass.
These are wines to while away the nights when the Canucks don’t play, and you have run out of your season two of Narcos.
Read more on wine.