Photo: Township 7 winemaker Mary McDermott
The most recent trio of releases from Township 7 Vineyards
& Winery included a surprise: Seven Stars 2012.
This is the winery’s first traditional method sparkling wine
since the 2008 vintage. While there is no explanation for the four-year gap,
the winery says that Mary McDermott, who took over as winemaker in 2014, plans
to “expand our bubbly program with the addition of a Blanc de Noirs.”
Earlier in her winemaking career in Ontario, she had
accumulated a fair amount of experience with sparkling wine.
Mary’s winemaking résumé is impressive. Her interest in wine began when
she worked as a sommelier at Monk McQueen’s Fresh Seafood & Oyster Bar in Vancouver. That led her
back to Ontario, her native province, to earn
a winemaking and viticulture degree at Brock University.
After graduation, she started as a cellar hand at Stratus Vineyards and
moved on to become assistant cellar master at Cave Spring Cellars. Then, in
2010, she became winemaker at Trius Winery at Hillebrand as well as Thirty
Bench Winery. Both are premium wine producers operated by Andrew Peller Ltd.
There is a history behind the Seven Stars name that goes back
to Gwen and Corey Coleman, the winery’s original owners. Seven was something of
a lucky number for them, beginning with the choice of Township 7 as the winery
name. That was the early name or Langley Township.
The Colemans opened
the Langley winery – the first of the winery’s two properties – on the seventh
day of the seventh month in 2001. Naturally, the sparkling wine, which began
with the opportunistic purchase of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 1999, was
called Seven Stars.
The 2012 Seven Stars
is a Blanc de Blancs, made with Chardonnay from both the winery’s Langley
vineyard and its Naramata vineyard. Only 88 cases have been made and, to buy
it, you need to join the winery’s wine club. By the way, the club is called
Here are notes on the
7 Seven Stars 2012 ($26.97 for 88 cases). This wine was 18 months on
the lees to develop a slight biscuity hint on the nose. On the palate, the wine
is refreshing with apple flavours. The active bubbles give the wine a creamy
texture while the dry finish gives it a crisp ending. 90.
7 Reserve Chardonnay 2014 ($24.97 for 278 cases). This is also a
wine club exclusive. Grapes from two
Black Sage Road vineyards went into this delicious barrel-fermented wine. The
wine begins with aromas of citrus fruits, apple and vanilla. On the palate,
there are flavours of citrus, apricot and vanilla. The wine has good weight and
a lingering finish. 90.
7 NBO 2013 ($27.97 for 278 cases; available just at the
wineries). NBO is short for North Bench Oliver, the location of Blue Terrace
Vineyard, one of Township 7’s long term suppliers. This wine is a blend of 60%
Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. It was aged 24 months in American oak. The
bouquet of cherry, black currant and mocha is echoed in the flavours of this
richly textured wine. The oak gives a hint of vanilla to the lingering finish.
The wine benefits from decanting. 92.