Naramata Bench Spring Tasting – Red – Part 2

Naramata Bench Spring Tasting – Red – Part 2

The Best part of the events is the fact that you can talk to the wine makers / Owners, and ask them those questions that only some people ask. I mean I’m sure lots of people will tell them that they love the wine or something along those lines, but to ask those questions on why you made the wine a certain way or what makes your Terroir so interesting is awesome. That and they probably love those questions I mean when I’m cooking at a event and someone asks about the food I prepare but how I came to choose what I did etc etc I find it the most rewarding.

Red Wines in the Okanagan (Naramata Bench also) are trying to find their feet still, Merlot is working well, Syrah is showing nicely, Cabernet Sauvignon not so much . Cabernet Franc is an interesting grape for the area, Have had a lot of nice stuff (Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Reserve is really nice). It seems to be suited for the area.


2007 Super Ego (2 weeks in bottle)

Nose of Tobacco, hint of Coffee, taste of tobacco is overwhelming, definitely needs more time to settle and just open up at least 6months minimum before even trying again.

Laughing Stock

Blind Trust 2007 (Red)

Taste of Jolly Rancher Red is the only way I can explain it a lot of candied fruit, good tannin texture

Portfolio 2006

I had this about 3 weeks ago (see review here) and the difference those weeks makes is a lot the wine is a lot more open, less Chocolate Tannins more fruit, easier to drink also.


Pinot Noir

Heavy Big Tannins for a Pinot Noir if you like that type of style then this is for you, fruit is there also but the tannins caught me off guard.

Cabernet Franc 2006

Light Tannins, very smooth really nice, fruit but also the Cab Franc nose/taste not overly Vegetable but has some in a good way

Syrah 2006

Aroma of Sweetness that I usually get but not the over the top AKA Cinnamon Bun with Cream Cheese Icing. Taste completely opposite of the nose, not sweet or over the top, nice Red Fruit a Sour Red Fruit that is ripe, nice balance nit acidity, not overtly complex but a nice wine.

Hillside Estate

Old Vines Gamay Noir

A good Gamay Noir, old vines if not one of the oldest Gamays in the Okanagan [Planted 1984], definitely has those characteristics of a Cru Beaujolais, good fruit, that Volcanic Soil style taste.

Merlot 2006

A really nice bottle of Merlot from the Okanagan for 18.99! (And that’s cheap for the area), this is something I will be pursuing for the Wine List at the restaurant, its easy drinking nice body, hint of residual sugar that the average wine drinker will like but also a little bit more for the other people to say Hey this ain’t bad! Thumbs Up.

Poplar Grove

So first things first I enjoy Poplar Groves wines and they do have a distinctive nose on them that I was trying to figure out what it was, It was almost Eucalyptus Like you know that strong Oil smell. So I asked the winemaker Ian Sutherland, what made all of these Poplar Grove wines taste so Terroir Distinctive, and apparently there are a lot of wild sage bushes in the area, which definitely has that Oil Characteristic of a Eucalyptus (just not as strong).

Merlot 2005

Has that Distinctive nose that Poplar Grove has which can almost give you a headache it can be so strong, Opened up a lot more then the last time I had this about 6 months ago.

The Legacy 2006

Red Fruit, Lots of Acidity need s more time and feels like it has the legs to go on for awhile

Naramata Spring Release Tasting 2008 - Whites - Part 1

Naramata Bench Spring Tasting Part 1 – Whites

What type of Grapes make the Okanagan Standout from the world? What are their signature grape(s)? Some will say Chardonnay (everyone grows chardonnay so nah), some may say Riesling (and it might very well be). But I think the two biggest White Varietals that work in the Okanagan and Naramata Bench are the Pinot Gris / Gewurztraminer. Very Alsatian Grapes, cool climate, nice acidity, as long as they are not over oaked or made to have no acidity.

A couple of these wines were the 2008 and just bottled, so some might not be ready, tho some were reading to go after only a couple of weeks of bottling.

Red Rooster Winery

2007 Chard.

Only 15% New Oak Used the rest being Stainless Steel, very fresh, nice acidity, A Chardonnay I would drink, and Generally Speaking Im not a Chardonnay fan especially if it has a lot of Oak, or Malo Fermentation to take away the fresh acidity.

Gewurztraminer 2007

The Nose good , like your floral notes and everything promising but the taste doesn’t even come close to the nose not a good sign

Riesling 2007

A really nice Riesling tropical fruit but not over done, sweetness on this yes but has a nice balance of acidity to make this a very nice Riesling

Therapy Vineyards

Pinot Gris, to much oak in the sense it lost all its acidity didn’t like it

Rose 2008: Very Barnyardie, tho it has been in the bottle 3 weeks, not my type of Rose which is Loire Valley Stlye with the grapefruit Zest.

Laughing Stock Vineyards

Pinot Gris 2008

Blind Trust 2008(White)

4 Grape Varieties, if I remember Pinot Gris 60%? Viognier 18%, then two others Pinot Blanc and… a non-aromatic Variety tho.

Nice big nose, has that buttery’ness of a Viognier, lots of acidity interesting to say the least.

Chardonnay 2008

40% New Oak, and not showing any of that oak which is great, lots of acidity, freshing, lots of fruit peach and apples really nice

Nichol Vineyard and Estate Winery

Pinot Gris 2008

Aroma of Fuzzy Peach Candy, with a bit more on the real peaches side, good nose

Kettle Valley Winery

All their whites had a higher level of residual sugar on them, which for the average drinker would most likely like, I found them tasty but to sweet for my palate.

Chardonnay 2005

Was definitely a standout with being 18month barrel fermented, Aroma of Sweet Raison Molasses, heavy concentration on the grapes, the taste almost comparing to the nose, (close to the Poplar Grove Chard) these vines being low crop and 20 years old almost shows what a Chardonnay Terroir is going to be on the Naramata Bench.

Hillside Estates

Pinot Gris 2008 Un-oaked

Hillside makes two Pinot Gris one Oak (30%) and unoaked this one, we carry the oaked version on the restaurant wine menu was a bigger seller last summer. This unoaked version I think is far superior to the oaked tho this is a different vintage, but the acidity is just bringing some much more for this wine.

Poplar Grove Vineyards

Pinot Gris 2008

Acidity is not as Zippy as the 2007 vintage a little bit more rounded I think it is 100% Stainless steel, I prefer the 07, to this.

Chardonnay 2007

Now this is the complete opposite for the 2006 Chardonnay. This I prefer more to the 06. 50% Old Oak Barrels. Nose has close to the 06 (which I will talk about in part 2 on poplar grove). Has that Raison Molasses like the kettle valley does but more on the subtle nature. These vines are old as well, and all of Poplar Groves vines are cropped 2 to 4 tons per acres if im not mistaken.

New Camera Here!

Well took some test photos still trying to figure out this Fancy New Technology of DSLR's.

Anyways here are some photos from my place and some of the Hockey Game, Canucks win 2-1 and are 1-0 in the first round.


I like Tea, it relaxes me.

If I want to relax I'll drink tea over wine (Black Tea with 10% Cream no sugar).

In the Morning I drink White Tea or Green.

Tiequanyin Tea, aka Iron Buddha.

My dads friend gave him and I about 1oz of tea that cost $1500kg, yeah about $1.50 a gram.

I like my black teas from India/Sir lanka, my Green from China none of that rice toasting Japanese stuff.

I think I'll review my teas tho I need to make a standardized test, 1tea spoon 30secs 1/2cup water? I'll see what I can think of.

Lesser Known Grape Variety: BONARDA

Well I opened a bottle of Bonarda from Argentina, to say the least this wine is interesting, apparently it is from Italy. The facts about it is a red wine that makes a sweet medium body wine with a wash of acidity [my translation of the facts!]

I am one to try and expand my palette as long as its not to crazy [AKA smelling those veal kidneys which were apparently "fresh" and smelled like piss isn't something I'm going to eat no thanks~]

The Stats:
Cerro Azul 2006 (Bodegas La Guarda)
100% Bonarda (approx 40 year old vines, oldies!)
13.8% Alc
San Juan, Argentina, South America, Earth
17$ [CAN]

The Look:
Dark Red, tinge of Purple

The Nose:
I was tring to figure out what this nose smelled like, at First I was going with Sweet Medicine. Then It hit me it has a Molasses smell Sulfur esque, Almost gives you a headache on how strong it is but yet mild. Then I was picking up Black Liquorice [The Real stuff]. Then I was getting Pumpernickel Bread. And yeah some cherry

The Taste:
Medium body, some cherry, Liquorice, Lots of acidity almost candy-esque cherry/raspberry combo. And sweet

Crazy changing for sip to sip but back and forth between the fruit and the Liquorice. And sweet I found it interesting and different which means its something I would bring to a wine tasting party, or open for someone who wanted something "Different"

Laughing Stock 2006 Portfolio

I bought a case of this wine when it was released. You know being a British Columbia I have to support my Local wineries, Heard a lot of good and hell it came in a cool wooden boxes which makes it worth it haha. They have their story on the website on why they are called Laughing Stock or LFNG.

Ok first thing, I don't mind the use of New Oak in a wine but it has to be in a balance, I mean its like Salt and Pepper to much salt and blah [I could use the make-up analogy but I don't like Make on women I just notice it then its like whats the point]. Now Maybe someone could email me and tell me that new oak needs time to go into the wine etc etc blah blah whatever something something, then so be it and I should wait so many years before it doesn't tsate like sweet vanilla goodness ^_^

This wine is made up of 40% New oak 60% 2nd Fill.

The Stats:
Laughing Stock Vineyards
Portfolio 2006
61% Merlot, 16% Cab Sauv, 16% Cab Franc, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
19 Months in Barrel: 40% New and 60% Second Fill French Oak
14.5% Alc
Naramata Bench, Penticton, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada
40$ Canadian [Direct]

The Look:
Dark Colour, good extraction, with a red/purple tinge on the rim.

The Nose:
Earth, Sweetness of Vanilla

The Taste:
Dark Chocolate Finish, Dry Grainy Tannins, Acidity was good good potential ,a little fruit was showing at the end but not a lot will explain in overall experience

I popped and Poured this wine, yes it was young yes I should of decanted it. Now my question is if I decanted this would the fruit show and the oak integrate or what. I think this has potential if the fruit and other sub layer come through it seems to have potential in it but only time will tell. It isn't a bad wine but to me it needs more for me to spend the money on it. Tho I do have 5 bottles left

Also once my awesome new camera comes Ill take a picture of the bottle it is a really neat design