Garagiste North held their fall wine festival in Penticton this year, at the Canadian Tire garden centre. The weather cooperated as it was a beautiful sunny day and there was the always enthusiastic crowd in attendance.
Let me start by thanking one of the event arrangers, Jennifer Schell for sharing her great photos of the wine festival. I would also like to mention Luke Whittall‘s post at BC Wine Country .
Let me see if I can fill in some of the gaps including background on the new Garagistes. Apologies in advance to all the wineries I missed.
New Garagistes’ Amanda and Jamie from Marionette Winery in Salmon Arm were a welcome addition. Marionette winery sits on the beautiful Broadview Bench, just minutes from downtown Salmon Arm. This bench has a unique microclimate, perfect for growing high-quality wine grapes. The wines they were pouring included:
Marionette Entwined is a white blend crafted from select small lots of diverse varieties. The result is a unique and unforgettable wine. Floral notes with hints of cloves and honey.
Marionette Pulcinella – Named for the infamous Italian trickster marionette, Pulcinella is full of surprises. Predominantly Zweigelt this full body red shows dark fruit with nuances of chocolate and plenty of spice.
Gewurztraminer – The high altitude Nighthawk vineyard imparts aromatic elegance and minerality, distinctive to the Gewurztraminer. The grapes were hand harvested and sorted followed by a whole berry gravity “crush”, with minimal skin contact. After fermentation, the wine was racked into stainless where it was cold stabilised, filtered and bottled. The wine features grapefruit, pineapple, floral notes and spice; it’s smooth on the mid-palate with a crisp long finish.
Chardonnay – The 2015 growing season was exceptionally hot and dry, which produced an amazing vintage of estate grown Chardonnay. Aged for 10 months in French Oak, this delicate wine features aromatic elegance and mineral complexity. Lightly aged in French Oak, a delicate wine featuring the aroma and flavours of butterscotch and pear this wine is smooth and silky on the mid-palette with a crisp finish.
For nearly two decades, VinAmité grapes were sold to well-known wineries throughout the Valley. Since 2013, VinAmité has been producing their own estate wines. From grape to bottle, the winery is devoted to traditional French varietals made by The Coulombe family in a blend of old and new approaches.
The Cabernet Franc was a crowd favourite. Flavours of wild blackberry, black cherry, plum and cracked pepper are there to greet you. Scents of forest floor, caramel and tobacco mingle with wafts of vanilla and toffee that follow with a lingering finish. A complex hint of exotic spice and a touch of smoke partnered with pleasant tannins.
This was one of the fine wines poured by Catherine Marguerite Coulombe.
Abbey & Rob Westbury were pouring a great 2014 Merlot. The fruit is sourced from the Hiwanda vineyard on Naramata Bench. The 15-year-old vines produce a beautifully concentrated wine that was aged for 19 months in 40% new French oak and 60% neutral. Plum, blackberry, cherry and mocha notes are plentiful on the nose and palate, backed with nice acidity and some serious tannic structure to round out the wine, making this a merlot that will only get better after a few years of ageing. This wine pairs beautifully with any grilled meat, especially steak. For more on Nagging Doubt check our some of my previous blogs.
The Similkameen Collective
One of our newest Garagistes is The Similkameen Collective, a group of passionate individuals who have come together to make uncompromised wine of exceptional quality from a very special site in British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley. The Collective was formed after recognising the exceptional character of the fruit from the “Blind Creek Vineyard” in the Similkameen Valley.
The Similkameen Collective owners are:
- Vineyard owners – Larry Lund & Ron Bell
- Director – Jim Morrison, P.Eng
- Winemaker – J-M Bouchard
- Winery owners – Pam & Mick Luckhurst
- Wine merchant – Brian Berry
The wines being poured by J-M Bouchard were:
2013 Consensus – This is a seamless Meritage blend, with aromas of cassis, blueberry and vanilla. It delivers spoons full of luscious red berry flavours to the palate. The finish is persistent with lingering bright fruit flavours.
2013 Syrah & Viognier – The two varieties are co-fermented. The wine begins dramatically with aromas of plum jam exploding from the glass. On the palate, there are layered flavours of plum, black cherry, delicatessen meats and spices and white pepper. The long ripe tannins give the wine generous texture.
2013 GSM $50 This is a Côtes du Rhône Blend of Grenache fermented on Syrah skins, with a dash of Mourvedre in the final blend. It was aged in neutral oak. This wine manages to be bold and elegant at the same time. It begins with aromas of plum and blueberry and delivers a mouthful of ripe berry flavours supported by long, polished tannins.
Source: Photo credits to Jennifer Schell