The British Columbia Wine Institute has facilitated at least two visits to the Okanagan by the eminent British wine writer, Steven Spurrier, a consulting editor at Decanter.
It has begun to pay off. In the August edition of Decanter Magazine, he published a list of British Columbia wines that have most impressed him. They included a pair of 2013 reds from Painted Rock Estate Winery – the Red Icon and the Syrah.
All of the wines on the Decanter list have also been reviewed favourably by Canadian writers, myself included. What Spurrier’s comments prove is that we are not just the hometown cheering section.
I detest the cliché, world class, but the fact is that there are plenty of wines in British Columbia every bit as good as those of other important wine regions. It helps to have outside verification.
Spurrier awarded 94 points to Painted Rock’s Red Ic0n 2013. Curious, I went back to my reviews of Painted Rock reds late last year. Here is what I found for Red Icon:
Painted Rock Red Icon 2013. This is a blend of 33% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 21% Petit Verdot, 12% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged 18 months in French oak (30% new). It begins with an inviting aroma of vanilla, black cherry and chocolate. On the rich and full palate, there are flavours of black currant, plum, dark chocolate and coffee. On the finish, there are notes of cloves, pepper, vanilla and chocolate. The texture is elegantly polished. 94.
To stay one step ahead of Decanter, here is my review of the recently released 2014 Red Icon.
Painted Rock Red Icon 2014 ($55). This is 33% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, 16% Petit Verdot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Once again, it was aged 18 months in French oak (30% new), accounting for the svelte, polished texture of its long, ripe tannins. It begins with aromas of black cherry, black currant, spice and vanilla. The palate is rich, with flavours of black cherry and black currant mingled with notes of blackberry, mocha, tobacco, vanilla and spice. The wine, if decanted, is accessible now but is built to age for 10 or 15 years. 94.