If you are already familiar with the Okanagan Valley’s finely-tuned Bordeaux varietals, look to Blue Mountain to understand the region’s potential in working with Pinot Noir. (If the potential isn’t immediately clear, open another bottle. Price isn’t a barrier to quality here.)
Blue Mountain’s vines, carefully managed to keep yields low, produce beautiful, concentrated fruit. Hand-harvested bunches were de-stemmed and, following a 16 to 20 day maceration, fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks by wild native yeast. The wine was settled and racked to French oak barrels to age on fine lees.
The finished wine is a light garnet colour in the glass, with red and black fruit on the nose. Vanilla and gentle toasty oak complement cassis, herb, and black cherry notes on the palate, while spicy, velvety tannins linger on the finish. With such balanced structure, this is a Pinot that will comfortably age for six or seven years.
“The 2017 vintage launched Blue Mountain’s new Pinot Noir program, consisting of two vineyard blends, and three single vineyard wines. It’s an exciting move for the pinot specialists, one of BC’s first and foremost iconic / cult family owned wineries. The Estate Cuvée is a young vine (10 year old) blend of clones 114, 115, 667, and 777. Destemmed fruit was native fermented with three weeks of maceration and gentle pigeage, before moving to French oak, where it remained until spring 2019 when it was bottled unfiltered. Dark plum, black raspberry, ripe cherry is infiltrated with waves of lightly toasted oak. Cracked clove, nutmeg, suede seasons the fruit, while cedar-sanded tannins frame it. The whole is youthful and keen, well orchestrated and made, and ready for drinking now, though will hold short term in your cellar.”
Treve Ring, Gismondi on Wine, Oct 2019