Photo: Blue Mountain winemaker Matt Mavety
Just in time for the festive season, Blue Mountain Vineyards
and Cellars has released three vintage-dated sparkling wines in addition to its
old standby, the Non-Vintage Brut.
These are excellent wines, as are the four table wines
released at the time.
In the tradition of Champagne
the vintage sparkling wines have rested in bottle on the yeast lees for three
to seven years before being disgorged. It is remarkable that the prices are so
reasonable, considering how long these wines have tied up Blue Mountain
that to some vintage Champagnes
. Bollinger La Grande Année 2004 is $150. Krug Vintage 2000
is $276. Roederer Rosé Brut 2007 is $87. Blue Mountain
is leaving money on the table. Who says that B.C. wines are too expensive?
table wines included three whites. I learned something about them from taking
my time and tasting them over two days: these wines improve with decanting. The
techniques employed by Blue
Mavety give the whites texture and structure so that they can be cellared for
three to seven years.
whites are 40% fermented in barrels (older barrels) and aged on the lees for
perhaps six months. Then the barrel
fermented wines are blended with the tank fermented wines and bottled in the
spring after vintage. The tight texture of young wines means that they need a
bit of time to open. I wonder how many other fine whites benefit from being
are notes on the wines.
Blue Mountain Brut NV
($23.90). This elegant but inexpensive bubbly has New Year’s Eve written
all over it. The wine, with fine, persistent bubbles, is crisp on entry and on
the finish but with a creamy mid-palate. There is a hint of bready aromas and
flavours of fresh apples and citrus. The finish is refreshing. 90.
Blue Mountain 2005
Reserve Brut R.D.
($39.90). This wine spent seven years on the yeast lees
before being disgorged in March 2013. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 35%
Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Gris. The prolonged sur-lies aging promotes a fine
mousse with delicate bready aromas. The winery’s own notes speak of strawberry
on the nose and palate. I found the finish crisp and even austere. Yet this is
a fine, complex wine that more than holds its own against Champagne
Blue Mountain 2006
Blanc de Blancs R.D.
($39.90). This is 100% Chardonnay. The wine was aged
sur-lie for six years before being disgorged in March 2013. This is a very
refined wine, with bready aromas and citrus and apple flavours. The crisp
finish, with an acidity that is still bracing, gives this wine a brilliantly
focussed personality. 92.
Blue Mountain 2009 Brut Rosé
($32.90). Made with 84% Pinot Noir and
16% Chardonnay, this wine has a lovely blush hue. The aroma suggests
strawberries and apples and this carries through to the creamy palate. The
finish is crisp and clean. This wine is so delicious that you probably want to
buy it by the magnum. A bottle is not enough. 94.
Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc 2012
($17.90). The wine
has aromas of peaches and apples. On the rich palate, there are flavours of
apples and stone fruit. The flavours and aromas were clearly more generous on
the second day. It was this wine that got me thinking that Blue Mountain
whites, which are good to begin with, benefit from decanting. 90.
Blue Mountain Pinot Gris 2012
($20.90). This wine
begins with the complex aroma of lees, pears and citrus fruits. On the rich
palate, there are flavours of pears and apples with a lightly spicy finish. 91.
Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2012
of Sancerres, not New
. The wine begins with herbal and
citrus aromas. On the palate, there are flavours of grapefruit and grapefruit
rind. The finish is spicy and dry, almost austere until the wine has a chance
to open up. 88-90.
Blue Mountain Gamay Noir 2012
($20.90). The wine
begins with a cherry hue and aromas of cherries. On the rich, ripe palate,
there are flavours of cherry and strawberry with a touch of spicy mocha on the