Monday, February 13, 2012

The three tiers of Mt. Boucherie's wines

Photo: Kaldep and Nirmal Gidda

 Some Okanagan wineries need to work a little harder to raise the winery’s profile. One winery that realized that is Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery of West Kelowna which, during the past six months, has had its owners, its winemaker and its agent doing tastings in the Vancouver market.

 The winery, which opened in 2001, is owned by Kaldep and Nirmal Gidda (and their wives). It has an extensive portfolio of 22 wines, including three Icewines. The winery currently produces about 20,000 cases of wine a year.

 I believe it may produce wine for one or two other wineries as well as sell some grapes. The Gidda brothers own about three hundred acres of vineyard in three areas – West Kelowna, Okanagan Falls and the Similkameen Valley. Jim Faulkner, their winemaker, gets to work with as broad a selection of varietals as any Okanagan winemaker.

 The table wines are released in three tiers. The budget-priced Estate tier and the mid-priced Summit Reserve tier comprise most of the portfolio. Small runs of wines that are deemed rare and special, and therefore are a little pricier, are released as Family Reserve.

 During visits to the winery over the years, I have tasted all of the tiers, forming good impressions. Everything here is reliable. Especially notable in the estate tier is the Gewürztraminer, the Riesling, the Sémillon and (see review below) the Pinot Gris. My only quarrel is that the winery uses synthetic stoppers for wines that might be better served with screw cap closures.

 Among the Summit Reserve range, I have often recommended the Pinot Noir as excellent value at $20 a bottle. The Chardonnay, at $25, is a sophisticated example of that variety.

 Recently, half a dozen Mt. Boucherie wines – two examples from each tier – arrived for review. Here are notes on those wines.
Mt. Boucherie Estate Pinot Gris 2010 ($14.99). This is the tropical fruit basket style of Pinot Gris, with tangy flavours and aromas of lime and grapefruit. The texture is ripe and fleshy and the finish goes on and on. 89.
Mt. Boucherie Estate Gamay Noir 2010 ($14.99). A light-bodied unoaked red recalling Beaujolais, this has aromas and flavours pepper, cherries and cranberries. 87.
Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve Merlot 2008 ($24.99). This wine begins with an appealing aroma of black currants, pomegranate and vanilla. On the palate, the concentrated texture has acquired the polish that comes from a few years in the bottle. The flavours include black currants, blackberries and mocha. 90.
Mt. Boucherie Summit Reserve Syrah 2007 ($24.99). The wine begins with aromas of pepper and black cherry. The wine has a generous palate-coating texture, with flavours of black cherry and fig and with black liquorice on the finish. 90.
Mt. Boucherie Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 ($29.99 for 150 cases). Now fully mature, this wine spent 20 months in barrel followed by maturation in bottle. It begins with aromas of spice (cinnamon) and cherry and has savoury, herbal flavours. The texture is classic Pinot Noir – silky and fleshy. 88.
Mt. Boucherie Family Reserve Zinfandel 2008 ($34.99 for a production of 100 cases). This is one of just three or four wineries that release Zinfandel from grapes grown in B.C. The Zins from the Okanagan and Similkameen all have lively, brambly fruit and aromas. This wine tastes of blackberries and raspberries laid over notes of vanilla and coconut. The wine aged 24 months in French oak. The spicy finish lingers. 90.


At February 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Mt. Boucherie Winery said...

Hi John,

Thought I would put you at ease. You will see Mt. Boucherie wines under screw cap, very soon. We have purchased a new screw capper. It should be here in a couple weeks, then put to use right away.

Jim Faulkner


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