In the ever-evolving world of British Columbia wine, and yes that is a very good thing, it is nice to know some things are actually reliably great. Mission Hill Family Estate, and head winemaker John Simes, have been making graceful, ample, delightful Riesling for many years now. The 2013 Reserve Riesling is a classic, with apple and lemon notes, maybe even a hint of orange rind, and with some intriguing minerality and beautiful acidity. An unoaked wine perfect for sipping while you cook or converse, the daylight hours not yet ready to wane. At $19, quite a bargain, too.
The Reserve Merlot 2012, a standout value at $24, is a consistently fine offering. Rich, dark colour, abundant black cherry and plum notes and even a hint of mocha, surround some soft tannins, which support the fruity package perfectly. Taken from two estate vineyards, Black Sage and Osoyoos, this wine reveals much of what a few years back many people thought a pipe dream: affordable, substantial, generous and ripe red wine from the Okanagan.