This wine is a blend of Viognier, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris so you know the aromatics are going to be huge – a big nose of peach, tangerine, myer lemon, rose petal, lychee and a hint of honey immediately impresses. On the palate this wine is bone dry with a crisp, refreshing acidity; great balance. Flavours of stone fruit, citrus and green apple with a clean streak of minerals leave you with a long fresh aftertaste. You’ll taste this one for a long time after it’s gone.
We had this with panko crusted cod fillets – wich was delicious – but we immediately thought the big aromatics on this would play well with something with a bit of heat. Thai or earthy Mexican dishes would be an ideal match.
Nichol Vineyards has long been one of our favourite Okanagan wineries (we are generally quite partial to the old Naramata Bench wineries – Nichol, Kettle Valley, La Frenz, Lake Breeze, Elephant Island, Poplar Grove and Hillside), but we generally think of them for their pioneering Syrah and Cab Franc. However, their whites should not be over looked as they produce one of our favourite Pinot Gris (leaving them on the skins like Kettle Valley to extract some of the beautiful salmon colouring) and this very tasty (and very dry) Gewurtz.
For a varietal that is usually known for its aromatics, this wine displays a surprisingly delicate floral nose: rose petals, lychee lime with the slight hint of wet pavement. On the palate this is very far to the dry side of the spectrum of Gewurztraminer with crisp acidity. The palate has notes of lychee, pink grapefruit, white peach, lime zest, hint of spice and a minerally note. This wine has a long finish that carries on that minerally note with a grapefruit pith for what seems like forever.
This will pair well with Asian flavours- think five spice rubbed pork tenderloin or hoisin glazed chicken. The spice holds up to the strong flavours and the crisp acidity a citrus notes beautifully cuts through fats and slaty flavours alike.
It is almost impossible for me to give an unbiased review of this wine as it has ranked among my favourite Pinot Gris (I would even venture favourite white wines) for close to a decade now. There have been vintages that have been better than others, and even some that don’t live up to high expectations, but overall, this has been a remarkably consistant wine over that period and I still fine it to be one of the most unique Pinto Gris I have ever found. There is something about the terroir on British Columbia’s Saltspring Island that creates a wildly original and delicious Pinot Gris. Having had other Gris from Saltspring I would also suggest the winemakers at Garry Oaks have a few secrets they aren’t sharing as well.
The 2009 vintage, like many of my previous favourite vintages, is dominated by flavours of lemon zest and mineral notes, with underlying notes of pear and honey. On the nose citrus. This wine is incredibly well balanced with great acidity and a creamy mouthfeel that is almost unexpected from a wine with flavour profile.
We’ve paired this wine with many things over the years, but our all-time favourite has to be fresh Saltspring dungeness crab (preferably cooked in a banged-up pot in a small cabin on Saltspring Island, but we’re sure it tastes great with crab cooked other ways too). This is also an ideal pre-dinner wine served with appetizers - it pairs well with most strong cheeses and anything with smoked salmon is a guaranteed success. For your listening pleasure, we recommend something introspective with, but wildly original… tonight it is going down exceptionally well by the fire with a little of Ryan Adam’s classic Heartbreaker.
Clos du Soleil is quickly becoming our favourite winery in the Similkameen – which is saying a lot because there are only a handfull in that valley at the moment and they are all pretty great.
After the rock-star wine that was the C.d.S.’s Baessler Pinot Blanc (see our glowing review here) we approached the 2010 Fumé Blanc with fairly high expectations. Combine this with our general love of the best of California’s Fumés and general distain for all things poorly oaked and this wine had the odds stacked against it. Fortunately, Clos Du Soleil, showing the kind of restraint with the wood that would be lucky to score you a single out on the baseball diamond, managed to knock this one out of the park again. The aroma is both smokey and sweet, but does nothing to prepare you for the huge hit of pineapple that leads off on your first sip. Flavours of citrus, green apple, honey and a beautiful, long mineraly finish. This resembles a great white Bordeaux much more than its name sakes from California. This is a very good thing.
This wine cries out for seafood and a late summer evening. Cedar planked lingcod, sabel fish or other rich, white fish would be perfect as the crisp acidity of the wine would beautifully cut the richness of the fish. Grilled asparagus and a salad of summer vegetables would round this out nicely. Throw on Washed Out’s latest, Within Without and soak in all that a late-August evening has to offer.
8.8 / 10.0 $22.90
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