Can Clos du Soleil's icon wines repeat?
A year ago, Clos du Soleil Winery, a low-profile Similkameen winery, emerged as a giant killer with the winning wine in the third annual tasting of iconic reds sponsored by SIP Wines, Richmond’s VQA store.
It is hardly surprising to learn that Clos du Soleil has entered two wines in SIP’s fourth annual icon tasting, scheduled for November 29 at the Richmond Country Club.
Previous tastings were all in the cozy quarters of the wine store. This has become the most prestigious tasting of British Columbia’s top reds, so popular that it has been moved to larger quarters at the country club. The $50 event also is a sit-down tasting for the first time.
I believe the event is virtually sold out. For those who can’t get there, I will again post a blog on the results. To get started, however, I am offering notes on three Clos du Soleil wines I have tasted recently, including one of the two it has entered for the upcoming icon tasting.
Clos du Soleil Signature 2009 ($39.90 for a production of 275 cases). One of the wines entered in the icon tasting, this is a blend of 41% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. This wine should show well in competition. It presents a delicious array of red fruit flavours – currants, black cherries – with the added complexity of chocolate, fig and tobacco notes. The 18 months spent in French oak added a touch of cedar and vanilla. 91.
Clos du Soleil Célestiale 2009 ($$22.90 for a production of 200 cases). The winery describes this as a wine for “everyday enjoyment.” It is a blend 43% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% each of Petit Verdot and Malbec. The wine is a little less concentrated than Signature, with 13.7% alcohol, or half a percent lower than its big brother. It is a pleasant, uncomplicated wine with aromas and flavours of blackberry and raspberry. The wine benefits from being decanted. 88.
Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2010 ($22.90 for a production of 100 cases and now sold out). Crisp and flinty in a style recalling Graves, this wine begins with aromas of herbs and citrus. On the palate, there are hints of grapefruit. The finish is dry, even a bit austere. 88.
I still need to review Clos du Soleil Saturn 2010 ($28.85 for a half bottle). This is a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of botrytis. It is rare to see such dessert wines from the Okanagan.
I have a clutch of dessert wines that I plan to review together.
As for the icon tasting, here is a list of the wines that SIP has assembled. All of them sell for at least $40 a bottle.
CedarCreek "Colbert Edition" Platinum Reserve Meritage 2006
Church & State Quintessential 2008 (pre-release)
Fairview Cellars The Bear's Meritage 2008
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2007/2008
La Stella Fortissimo 2009 (pre-release)
Clos Du Soleil Eclipse 2009 (pre-release)
Clos Du Soleil Signature Red 2009
Mission Hill Compendium 2008
Laughing Stock Portfolio 2008
Painted Rock Red Icon 2008
Lake Breeze Tempest 2008
Black Hills Nota Bene 2009
Poplar Grove Legacy 2007
Mission Hill Quatrain 2008
Mission Hill Oculus 2008
Herder Josephine 2008
NK'Mip Mer'r'iym 2009
Hester Creek The Judge 2007