The three reds released this fall by Stag’s Hollow Winery at
Okanagan Falls include a Dolcetto. That wine coincides with the release of a
Dolcetto from Moon Curser Vineyards of Osoyoos.
This is great news for lovers of this varietal, usually
identified with producers in Piemonte in Italy. Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger,
owners of the winery, have a block of this variety in their Shuttleworth Creek
vineyard just south of Okanagan Falls.
The two Dolcetto wines send me look up Dolcetto in Grape Vines,
the marvellous resource
from Jancis Robinson (with two colleagues). The book reports that the grape was
first mentioned in 1593.
“The name Dolcetto, meaning ‘little sweet’, comes from the
low natural acidity of the berries but Dolcetto wines are almost always dry,”
the authors write. “Varietal Dolcetto wines are generally deeply coloured,
soft, round and fruity; the best are fragrant with flavours of liquorice and
They write that there are scattered plantings of the variety
in California, Washington State, Oregon and even Texas. These two British
Columbia producers planted Dolcetto after the book was written.
The wines fit the book’s descriptors, although they differ
from each other somewhat. The Moon Curser wine is leaner in texture than the
Stag’s Hollow wine. I expect that reflects the differing soils in which the
vines grow. The Osoyoos East Bench soils would be sandier than the Okanagan
reviewed the Moon Curser Dolcetto 2015
in a recent blog. This is an unoaked red which suits the soft and juicy
texture. The wine has luscious aromas and flavours of cherries, finishing with
a fruit sweetness at the end. Of course, it is a dry wine.
Stag’s Hollow trio also includes a Grenache. This is a late ripening variety
not widely grown in the Okanagan. The grapes for this come from a vineyard on
the West Bench in Penticton and East Bench in Osoyoos. The variety has been championed
since the 2012 vintage by Dwight Sick,
the winemaker at Stag’s Hollow, who likes to release the wine for International
Grenache Day, September 16.
are notes on the three Stag’s Hollow releases.
Stag’s Hollow Dolcetto 2015
($21.99). Sixty percent of
this wine was aged five months in 300 litre French oak (third fill) while the
remainder was aged in stainless steel. The wine begins with aromas of plum,
black cherry, chocolate and a hint of tarragon. Fleshy in texture, it coats the
palate with luscious cherry and plum flavours. Indeed, there is a touch of
liquorice on the finish. 90-92.
Stag’s Hollow Grenache 2015
($25.99). There is 12% Syrah
in this bold, brawling red with 15% alcohol. It begins with aromas of cherry
and vanilla with a hint of pepper. On the palate, it has savoury, meaty
flavours of cherry and blueberry with vanilla and pepper on the powerful
Stag’s Hollow Heritage Block
($21.99). This is 50% Merlot, 26.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.5% Cabernet Franc,
10.5% Malbec and 1.5% Petit Verdot. The wine begins with appealing aromas of
black cherry, plum, chocolate and cedar. It has a generous texture, with
flavours of cherry, chocolate, leather and toasty oak (from having aged in
barrel 18 months). It is astonishingly good value. 92.