Monday, April 22, 2019

Township 7 ups its bubbly offerings

Photo: Winemaker Mary McDermott

When winemaker Mary McDermott was recruited to Township 7 Vineyards & Winery, her resumé included extensive experience making sparkling wines in Ontario.

Township 7 has had a sparkling wine called Seven Stars in its portfolio since 1999. But with Mary’s expertise in the cellar, the winery has embarked on a significant expansion of its sparkling wines.

The current release includes Seven Stars Equinox 2015, a sparkling rosé, and Seven Stars Polaris, a sparkling Chardonnay.

Next year, the winery will release a sparkling Viognier in what it calls a pétillant naturel style. In 2021 the winery plans to release an ultra-premium sparkling wine made from grapes in its Langley vineyard. That wine will have spent five years en tirage.

“In the coming years,” Mary says, “we intend to continue this sparkling future and will be adding other bubbly to our Seven Stars universe.”

While the offerings of sparkling wines from Okanagan wineries is becoming crowded, that is only so among the lower price points – the wines surfing along on the Prosecco wave. Township 7 is positioning its sparklers along side Champagne. These are sophisticated wines that will compliment any special occasion.

The currant releases from Township 7 include a Syrah as well. A table wine, not a sparking Syrah (although we have seen several sparkling Syrahs from other Okanagan wineries). Who knows where Mary’s winemaking will take her?

Here are notes on the wines.

Township 7 Seven Stars Equinox 2015 ($48.97 for 2,166 bottles). This wine was made with organic Pinot Noir grapes from Sperling Vineyards in Kelowna. It was about 25 months on the lees. When it was disgorged, a small amount of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay table wines were added to give it even more complexity and flavour. In the glass, this is an elegant wine with a lovely pink hue and energetic bubbles. The aromas of strawberry and citrus mingle with a touch of brioche. The wine has a creamy attack and flavours of strawberry and apple. The finish is crisp and clean. 95.

Township 7 Seven Stars Polaris 2016 ($35.97 for 3,588 bottles). This is a Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay. The wine spent about 18 months en tirage. This is also a sophisticated sparkling wine, beginning with aromas of citrus, Granny Smith apples and brioche which are echoed on the palate. There is a very active mousse which, again, gives the wine a creamy attack. However, the bright acidity gives the wine a crisp finish. 92.

Township 7 Syrah 2016 ($35.97 for 298 cases). The grapes for this wine are from a Skaha Bench vineyard. The wine was aged 24 months in French and American oak (50% new). The rich fruit on the palate soaked up an amazing amount of oak; this is not over-oaked. The wine begins with aromas of black pepper, fig and vanilla. On the palate, there are the classic gamy flavours of the variety mingled with blackberry and black cherry. 92.


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