Only a handful of producers offer wines made from the Muscat family of grapes.
The current price list for one VQA wine store lists just
three. Hillside Muscat Ottonel likely has been produced since that winery
opened in 1990. Joiefarm Winery and Summergate Winery have had Muscats in their
portfolio since they opened. LaFrenz winery has a marvelousMuscat.
Now Township 7 Vineyards & Winery has released its first
superb dry white from the Rock Pocket Vineyard on Tuc-El-Nuit Road, northeast of Oliver.
There certainly are several other Muscats that do not show
up on a VQA wine store list. LaStella’s Moscato D’Osoyoos, like the Township 7
offering, is available just to wine club members and tasting room visitors.
The 2014 vineyard census of British
Columbia found only 89.5 acres of Muscat varieties. There is almost 10 times as
much Gewürztraminer planted; this variety dwarfs all of the aromatic whites
grown here. Its dominance and its popularity likely explain the comparatively modest
acreages of Muscat,
Siegerrebe, Bacchus, Schönburger, Ehrenfelser and Sovereign Opal.
Gewürztraminer is the wine of choice for most consumers
looking for a spicy white. Yet an
is always a good alternative when you have had you fill of Gewürztraminer.
Township 7 winemaker Mary McDermott has crafted a fine dry Muscat
. The Rock Pocket
Vineyard is a warm site which, according to the winery’s notes, produced
“characteristics common of warmer traditional European locales such as France
where the grape is widely
The grapes were fermented for three weeks in stainless steel
at a cool 14C. Cool fermentation preserves the fresh fruit flavours and the
aromas. The result is a light, elegant wine with just 12.5% alcohol and with an
almost imperceptible around of residual sugar.
It is a welcome addition to the Okanagan’s family of Muscat wines.
Here are notes on Township 7’s current offerings.
Township 7 7 Blanc 2014
($17.38 plus tax for 398 cases). This is a blend of 50% Pinot Gris, 45%
Gewürztraminer and 5% Muscat
It begins with aromas of herbs, citrus and white peach. It tastes of white
peach and pear with delicate spiciness on the finish. A slight touch of
residual sweetness broadens the weight on the palate and the generous length.
Township 7 Muscat
2014 ($17.38 plus tax for 108 cases). This wine is exclusive to Township
7’s wine club; what an incentive to join! The aroma soars from the glass with
notes of ginger and orange, leading to dramatic flavours of spice, orange rind
and ripe cantaloupe. The wine just dances on the tongue and then finishes refreshingly
dry. The delicate intensity of the finish lasts for several minutes. Lucky wine
club members. 93.
Township 7 Pinot Gris
2014 ($17.38 plus tax for 398 cases). This is also a wine club exclusive.
This wine was fermented in stainless steel for three weeks at 14C in order to
preserve the fresh fruity notes. It begins with aromas of pears and apricots.
Generous on the palate, the wine has flavours of apples and lime. The wine is
crisply dry with a persistent finish. 90.
Township 7 Cabernet
Sauvignon 2012 ($23.47 plus tax for 498 cases). The grapes for this wine
come from the Blue Terrace Vineyard on Tuc-El-Nuit Road just northeast of
Oliver. This is a long-time supplier of fruit to Township 7. The 2012 vintage
was an excellent one for ripening Cabernet Sauvignon: the grapes were picked
October 20 at 24.5 Brix. The wine is dark with aromas of plum, black currant and
vanilla that are echoed on the palate, along with notes of mint and tobacco.
The polished texture of the wine results from aging it 22 months in American