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.
“Of the five pinot noirs now produced at Blue Mountain the least expensive Estate Cuvee is grown in a slightly higher altitude site farthest from Vaseaux Lake. It is very bright, fruity (cherry, red plum) and almost floral with minimal oak influence, just a touch of spice and herbality. It shows very fine balance and integration, not a hair out of place as the acidity, alcohol and tannin line up beautifully, allowing focus on the pretty aromas and flavours. And the length is excellent. Certainly enjoyable now, with a good five years of stability and freshness ahead, maybe even more. Tasted August 2020.”
92 points, David Lawrason, WineAlign, Aug 2020