Thursday, July 18, 2024

Solvero Wines looks to Oregon, Washington grapes this fall

Photo: Solvero's Alison Moyes (Jon Adrian photo)
On the Canada Day weekend, Solvero Wines opened its tasting room in the Garnet Valley, appealing for visitors not to be deterred by the wine shortage misperception created by the Okanagan’s two recent hard winters. “We are open and we have lots of wine to share,” says Alison Moyes, Solvero’s general manager and winemaker. “That is a message that is getting a bit lost amid all the talk about vineyard damage. The best thing that people can do to support BC wineries is come and visit us.”
It is not that Solvero’s Garnet Valley vineyards, north of Summerland and at a 600-meter elevation, escaped damage when temperatures one week in January got as low as -26◦C. A covering of snow allowed most of Solvero’s vines to survive. They will produce negligible fruit this year but should recover to yield a modest crop next year. Meanwhile, Alison plans to make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this fall with Oregon and Washington grapes. “I have blocked off some time to go down to Washington and Oregon to look at the possibilities,” she says. “My plan for harvest is to spend three weeks down there, so I can follow the ripeness and manage all of the custom crushing and processing.”
“As a small producer, I did not know if we would have the buying power to go down and make special requests,” she continues. “But because of their grape surplus, I am told you can get pretty much what you want. Obviously, there are different price categories. If we are willing to pay the appropriate price, we should be able to get the quality we need. I am not looking for huge quantities. Chardonnay is something we will run out of quickly. And I would like some Pinot Noir for rosé and sparkling. That being said, it is only if the quality is where we need it to be. We would likely bring in juice, as opposed to trying to bring the grapes here.”
While Solvero made its first Pinot Noir only in 2019, the winery has some inventory to sustain its sales during this difficult period. “We did not start selling our Pinot Noir until its third year,” Alison says. “But we will sell out of most wines.” That is why she is looking to Washington and Oregon vineyards to help her keep wine in the pipeline. “I don’t want to lose the shelf space that we worked so hard to acquire thus far,” she explains. “It takes time and effort to get into places.”
Solvero was established by Matt Sartor, backed by his parents, Andrea and Bob (he is the retired chief executive of the Calgary Airport Authority). Matt has a music degree from Dalhousie University but became passionate about wine while working in a Calgary wine store. After finding a forested property in the Garnet Valley suitable to growing premium cool-climate wines, he began planting vines in 2016. “We now have 16 acres planted in the Garnet Valley and four acres at the Happy Valley site [also near Summerland], where Bob and Andrea live,” Alison says. In 2023 Solvero began contracting Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from grower David Kozuki, also a premium producer near Summerland. While all of these vineyards are within a short drive of Summerland, each is in a different sub-appellation. Alison plans to release Pinot Noirs from each of these to demonstrate the significant differences in the terroirs.
Born in Ontario, Alison has a microbiology degree from Dalhousie and a winemaking degree from Brock University. Her thesis involved an Okanagan vintage in 2008. That led to her decision to make her winemaking career in the valley. She became the chief winemaker at Stoneboat Vineyards in 2010. She moved to Liquidity Wines in 2015 and joined Solvero in 2021. Passionate about Pinot Noir, Alison was attracted to Solvero by its disciplined Burgundian portfolio: just Pinot Noir (from multiple clones), Gamay Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and sparkling wine. “Having that kind of diversity to play with in the cellar is catnip to someone who is interested in making Pinot Noir,” Matt told me last year.
Alison believes that Solvero will not need to replant more than 15% of its vines. “We are still feeling quite optimistic. Our young vines are pushing a lot of growth from the base. We have good strong suckers at the base to re-establish for next year. We won’t get a crop this year but, if all goes well, we should be able to re-trunk and get back to something close to normal production next year. Maybe 60%.”
Here are notes on two current releases.
Solvero Pinot Gris 2023 ($25 for 458 cases). The wine was fermented cool (12C to 16C) for three to four weeks. The wine was aged three months in a mixture of stainless steel and neutral French oak barrels. The wine begins with aromas of pear, apple and citrus, leading to flavours of peach, pear and a hint of grapefruit. The texture is svelte and polished. The exquisite balance shows the winemaker’s delicate but assured hands in the cellar. 92.
Solvero Rosé 2023 ($25 for 358 cases). This is made with Pinot Noir. The grapes were crushed and given two to three hours skin contact before being fermented in stainless steel. That has given the wine an appealing rose petal hue. The wine has aromas and flavours of raspberry, strawberry and sour cherry, with a crisply dry finish. 90.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Mayhem produces more Anarchy

Photo: Mayhem winemaker Ajay Chavan (courtesy of the winery
Mayhem Wines portfolio of reserve wines, which are labelled Anarchy, has now expanded to four with the release of the inaugural Anarchy Pinot Gris from the 2023 vintage. The name, Anarchy, seems to have been inspired by the Anarchist Mountain Vineyard, the home of Terry Meyer Stone and Andrew Stone. They are co-proprietors of Mayhem with the owners of Meyer Vineyards, JAK Meyer and Janice Stevens. This is a vineyard with a history, recounted on Mayhem’s website:
Location: Located on the east side of Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos, this site is 1,700 feet above the valley floor, experiencing cool mountain breezes in the evening after long hot days. This mountain grasslands area is home to Sage Brush, Antelope Brush and the Western Rattlesnake. Vines: In the 1980's, pioneer and miner by trade, Tony (Anton) Dekleva blasted a "mine-like" reservoir into the side of the mountain and witched three water wells to gain access to water. Born in Prem, Slovenia, Tony arrived in Canada in 1957, and settled in Osoyoos in 1968. He planted roughly 3.5 acres of grapes completed around 1985, of which included an unknown clone of Chardonnay, today known as Dekleva Clone. In 1993 Dekleva sold the vineyard to a German family called the Mauz's, and in 1994, the Mauz family planted an additional 1 acre of Merlot. In 2010, Terry and Andrew purchased the property and called it home for the next 12 years. In 2014 through 2015, together with some help from their neighbour Darryl, Andrew made the decision to pull out some of the Chardonnay and planted a half an acre of Cabernet Franc on the upper bench of the property. Today there are roughly 4 acres planted: 1 acre of Pinot Noir, 1.5 acres of Chardonnay, 1 acre of Merlot and 0.5 acres of Cabernet Franc. For a number of years Terry and Andrew crafted a small amount of wine under the label Anarchist Mountain Vineyards which was sold exclusively to select restaurants and wine stores. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are currently both used in production at Meyer Family Vineyards, Terry's brother's winery, and the Merlot and Cabernet Franc are destined for Mayhem's premium label.
Mayhem, which also gets fruit from two Kaleden vineyards and from elsewhere in the Okanagan, produces wines which, with the exception of rosé and Gewürztraminer, do not overlap with the Meyer portfolio. Winemaker Ajay Chavan, who grew up in New Zealand and has an enology degree from Lincoln University in Christchurch, makes the wines at the Meyer property near Okanagan Falls. Mayhem’s tasting room is also near the Meyer tasting room.
Here are current releases.
Mayhem Pinot Gris 2023 ($19.22 for 525 cases). The fruit for this wine is from 21-year-old vines in Kaleden. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, with 17% finishing ferment in seasoned oak puncheons. That likely accounts for the good texture and spice that surrounds the aromas and flavours of pear and apple. The finish is crisp and fresh. 90.
Mayhem Anarchy Pinot Gris 2023 ($26.18 for 190 cases). This exceptional Pinot Gris, the latest addition to the Anarchy designation, is the result of very complex winemaking. The fruit is from a Kaleden vineyard. The fruit was whole-bunch pressed and fermented cool in a combination of vessels: 41% in ceramic balls, 42% in stainless steel and 17% in a neutral puncheon. The wine was on the lees for seven months, and that shows in the satisfying texture. The wine begins with aromas of stone fruits that lead to flavours of guava, papaya, pear and peach. There is a lingering finish. 93.
Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc 2023 ($20.97 for 313 cases). This wine is made from Naramata Bench fruit. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the juice was fermented cool over seven weeks in stainless steel. The winery was aiming at the zesty New Zealand style but, in my judgment, did not quite get there. The wine is crisp and dry, with aromas and flavours of lime but with a short finish. 88.
Mayhem Rosé 2023 ($21.83 for 177 cases; also 72 magnums). The fruit in this wine is a blend of Zweigelt (the dominant grape), Merlot, Pinotage and Malbec. The wine was fermented for 11 weeks at temperatures never exceeding 10◦C. The wine, which presents with an appealing rose petal hue, has aromas of strawberry and apple and flavours of watermelon and cranberry. The finish is crisp. 90.
Meyer Rosé 2023 ($20.96 for 160 cases). This is made with Pinot Noir; half fermented in barrel and half in stainless steel. The wine presents with a darker hue than is currently fashionable – but I like it when a rosé appeals to the eye. The wine follows through on the palate and in the aroma with bold notes of strawberry and cherry. 90.
Mayhem Sparkling White 2023 ($88.32 for 12-can flats; 225 flats produced). This is a blend of 77% Pinot Gris, 21% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Riesling. The wine is crisp and refreshing, with aromas and flavours of citrus. With tiny bubbles, it is an uncomplicated, easy-drinking wine in a single-serving 250 ml can. 88.
Mayhem Sparkling Rosé 2023 ($88.32 for 12-can flats; 200 flats produced). The wine, which is Merlot dominant, presents with a lovely rose petal hue. There is not a lot of aroma but there is a mouthful of cherry and strawberry flavours. The bubbles give it a crisp finish. 87.
Mayhem Cabernet Merlot 2022 ($24.44 for 691 cases). In spite of what the label suggests, the blend here is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged 11 months in French oak. It is a dark and full-bodied red, with aromas and flavours of cherry and blueberry. There is a touch of chocolate and black olive on the finish. 90.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Remembering Naramata winegrower Tim Watts

Photo: Tim Watts (left) with partner Bob Ferguson
Kettle Valley Winery has announced that Tim Watts, one of its founding partners and a pioneer of Naramata Bench winegrowing, passed away on June 27, 2024. “Tim asked for no ceremony to mark his passing, but asked that you share a glass of wine with those that are dear to you,” his partner, Bob Ferguson, wrote in an email. In keeping with that request, I opened a bottle Kettle Valley Malbec 2006, one of about a dozen older Kettle Valley reds in my cellar. These are long-lived wines and, true to my expectations, the wine, while showing its maturity, still is drinking well. A fitting tribute to Tim.
Tim, who is survived by his wife Janet, and their sons, Andrew and Stuart, was born in Victoria in 1958. Graduating from the University of British Columbia, he began working as an exploration geologist. Eventually, he became the senior geologist at the Nickel Plate gold mine near Hedley in 1987. Until the mine closed in 1996, he juggled that position with developing vineyards for the winery.
He had begun making wine in 1980 in his Vancouver apartment, partnering with Bob Ferguson, an accountant and a fellow amateur winemaker. The two had discovered each other’s passion for winemaking after they married sisters. (Bob’s wife is called Colleen). When the partners were frustrated by the difficulty in getting good grapes, Tim and Janet decided to move to Naramata in 1985, planting a test block of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at their home. When that succeeded, he and Bob developed two vineyard properties near Naramata to support a winery. Bob resigned his partnership with a Vancouver accounting firm and moved to the Okanagan in 1992. The winery was opened four years later and, at the peak of its output, was making 13,000 cases a year. Kettle Valley has scaled back in recent years, especially after illness slowed Tim down.
From the beginning, Kettle Valley made interesting and distinctive wines, including barrel-fermented whites and bold, age-worthy reds in styles setting the winery apart from what was then the Okanagan’s mainstream. “We decided that making a German style of wine was like taking Bibles to Rome,” Tim told me in a 1993 interview. Their timing was very good. The 1988 pullout of most of the Okanagan’s vineyards (to get rid of hybrid varietals) had created a great deal of pessimism about the future of the area’s winegrowing. The partners were able to acquire choice vineyard sites at very reasonable prices. “We were lucky,” Bob told me once. “We had first pick of some of the properties because we were the first ones here. Tim picked some really good sites with great air drainage, good soil conditions, and close to the lake.”
“We were told we were stupid to plant Cabernet Sauvignon,” Tim, who took the viticultural lead at Kettle Valley, told me in another interview. “We were told it would never grow. Then we were told after it grew that it would never ripen. Then we were told maybe it will ripen but it will never be any good.” The Old Main Vineyard was planted in 1990 to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, one of the earliest plantings of Bordeaux varieties on the Naramata Bench. In the end, Kettle Valley grew a full range of Bordeaux red varietals, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The winery’s Old Main Red, a Bordeaux blend, has long been one of the icon wines in the valley.
“For the past four decades, Tim dedicated himself to growing some of the best grapes in the Okanagan and making many exceptional wines,” Kettle Valley said last week. “One of the things I love about this business,” Tim told me once, “is there are so many different things that can happen and so many different directions that you can go; things you can change.” It was a great career. Tim and his partner, Bob, have been great assets to Okanagan winegrowing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Burrowing Owl: the house of big reds

Photo: Burrowing Owl founder Jim Wyse
Rosé is hardly the first wine that comes to mind when thinking of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. This has been the house of big red wines for the last 25 years and, judging from the current releases, it still is.
One of those wines is the 2020 vintage of Meritage. I included earlier vintages in my 2017 book, Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries. Here is an excerpt: The Burrowing Owl red wines are among the biggest in the South Okanagan because they are grown in a sun-bathed vineyard. Winery founder Jim Wyse, a successful real estate developer, began acquiring this Black Sage Bench acreage in 1993. The hybrid varieties that had flourished here previously were pulled out in 1988, leaving just blocks of mature Pinot Blanc. Under Jim’s direction, the vineyard was revived primarily with classic vinifera vines. When the winery was developed, Burrowing Owl retained Bill Dyer, a consulting winemaker from California. He crafted the winery’s house style of big, ripe reds, taking advantage of the terroir’s ability to ripen flavour-packed grapes. The Meritage program began in 2000 with a production of just 248 cases. “The wine was given wonderful reviews,” Jim wrote later, “so that the 2001 vintage was increased to 500 cases.”
When I was working on the book, Jim and his son, Chris, were reluctant to single just one wine in their portfolio as their icon. After all, their wines were all being made to a rigorous standard. Most of the reds are single varietals, with two notable exceptions. Athene has always been a field blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, good enough to stand alone as an icon. The Meritage, however, is full Bordeaux blend, with four or five varietals and with the input of Alain Sutre, a highly-reputed consultant from Bordeaux. It is a red that can be cellared with confidence.
But don’t miss the 2023 Rosé. Burrowing Owl’s is one of the best from the Okanagan this season. “We first produced a rosé wine under the Calliope Wines brand back in 2010, and partly as a result of the experience gained in making a wine of this style, we introduced the Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Rosé to our family of wines back in 2019 and have produced a vintage of it ever since,” confirms Stephen Neumann, the winery’s brand ambassador.
The Calliope brand was launched after Jim Wyse bought the Calliope label from its founders, Ross and Cherie Mirko, when they moved to New Zealand. No doubt, the label caught his eye because Jim is such a bird lover. “The Calliope is the smallest bird in Canada and they are found in the south Okanagan,” Jim’s daughter, Kerri McNolty, told me in a 2011 interview. “They are beautiful and the telltale sign is this iridescent red underneath their throat in the males. The females are quite nondescript. The Calliope concept is to try new varieties we are not producing at Burrowing Owl.” The first rosé was made with Syrah grapes with a touch of Viognier to tweak the acidity and the freshness. The 2023 rosé is made with Cabernet Franc, a varietal arguably better suited for rosé. Here are notes on the wines.
Burrowing Owl Rosé 2023 ($30). The Cabernet Franc grapes for this wine were harvested from Burrowing Owl’s vineyards near Oliver and Osoyoos. The grapes were destemmed and kept in the press overnight to extract color and flavour. The wine was fermented cool for three weeks in stainless steel and aged another three months in stainless steel. The hue is fashionably pale. There are appealing aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and pink grapefruit, echoed on the mouth-filling palate. The finish is refreshing. 92.
Burrowing Owl Athene 2021 ($41). This is a blend 55% Syrah and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, which was co-fermented. The wine was aged 18 months in barrel (75% French, 15% American and 10% Hungarian, with just 23% of the barrels being new). The wine declares itself boldly with aromas of dark cherry, black currant, chocolate and licorice mingled with cedar, all of which is echoed on the palate. The finish is long with a note of spice. 92.
Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 ($43). This is a big, ripe wine, reflecting a hot vintage notable for small but flavour-packed berries the vines produced that year. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel and aged 18 months in barrel (85% French oak, 10% Hungarian and 5% American; 17% of the oak was new). The wine begins with aromas of cassis, dark cherry, plum and chocolate, reflected in the flavours of this full-bodied wine. 93.
Burrowing Owl Meritage 2020 ($53). The blend is 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 8.5% Malbec and 8.5% Petit Verdot. The varietals were vinified separately and aged 15 months in barrel before blending. The blend was aged another three months in oak (92% French). This is an elegant wine, with aromas of black currant, dark cherry, chocolate and cedar. On the palate, the wine delivers mouth-filling flavours of dark fruits. The long, ripe tannins make for a persistent finish. 95.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Bartier Bros.: strategies to stay in business

Photo: Don and Michael Bartier (courtesy of the winery)
For the second year in a row, Bartier Bros. winery’s annual releases have included cans of a 4.2% alcohol product called Piquette. There is both a white and a rosé. Unlike last year, I am scoring these products, which are pleasantly refreshing. And given the damage to vineyards during the past two winters, Piquette may be making an outsized contribution to the viability of Bartier Bros. if, as expected, consumers embrace the product.
Let me quote the winery’s explanation of Piquette from last year. “Piquette is light wine made from a second pressing of the grapes. The sugar in this is much lower, of course, leading to lower potential alcohol, 4.2% in the end. After fermentation and filtering, we added a bit of carbonation; it keeps it fresh, and it makes it refreshing.” Piquette is common in France and likely in many other wine regions. It has been primarily a product with which the winemakers and the vineyard workers slake their thirst without becoming inebriated. Bartier Bros. were prompted by the need to keep their business viable, given rising costs and two devastating winters.
“It occurred to us, if only we could get more wine from the same grapes,” Michael writes. “Well, it turns out that we can, and we did. After pressing the grapes for our wines, we're re-soaking the grape skins and then pressing these again to produce Piquette. The yield and the quality have been astonishing; this is a game-changer for us. We've picked up a dedicated following for Piquette through our tasting room last season, so we've expanded the production of this. As of this summer, we now have distribution of Piquette White and Rosé in all 22 Save On Foods stores and a considerable number of private wine and liquor stores. We expect this to take off.”
There is even more reason this year than last to look to Piquette to stabilize the winery’s revenues. “The post-pandemic economy is expensive,” Michael writes. “People are looking for lower alcohols in their wine. Our BC wine production will be way down for at least the next three years [due to the need for vineyards to recover from the damage of the past two winters]. The preference for lower alcohol is sensible, but the rising costs and low production make this a tough time for BC wineries.” Bartier Bros. has moved decisively to reduce expenses. “Labour is so expensive and difficult to find right now that we're investing in machinery that can replace this,” Michael writes. “Examples that we've invested in are automated filtration, mechanized hedging, mechanized under-vine mowing, newer and more efficient tractors and sprayers. These have already made a huge difference for us.”
Piquette enables the winery to stretch production at a time the vineyards are recovering. The hard frost just before Christmas, 2022, led to extensive crop loss at Bartier vineyards in 2023. Syrah was hit especially hard and has not been replanted. Total production in Bartier’s 2023 vintage was a quarter of what it should have been, But January, 2024, was “even worse than the previous winter, with temperatures hitting - 25 C at our vineyard, and considerably colder elsewhere,” Michael writes. The vine damage requires extensive replanting of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sémillon and Chardonnay (although one block of own-rooted Chardonnay survived and is expected to produce a full crop next year).
Bartier Bros. contracts the Harper’s Trail Vineyard near Kamloops. Michael describes it as a “particularly cold site.” The cold snap just before Christmas 2022 killed the entire vineyard to the ground. However, the vines are own-rooted and new shoots emerged from those roots in the spring of 2023. “In the fall of 2023, we laid down canes from each vine at this site, and then buried them, using a tractor-mounted disc to mound up soil,” Michael writes. “Revealing these canes this spring, the canes and buds were 100% viable, so we trained them up to form a new trunk and cordon. We expect close to a full crop from these vines.” That is leading the winery to a new approach with its Okanagan vineyards. “Given the result of our trial burying canes, we'll be adopting this practice in all our vineyards, starting this fall,” Michael writes. “If we experience a mild winter, we only need to reveal the canes, prune them back to two buds, and then let these buds grow again that season so that we can repeat this the following winter. If we experience a harsh winter, then we've insured ourselves.”
Michael and his brother, Don, have also adopted other measures to keep the business viable, including managing vineyards and making wine for other producers. Given the quality of the Bartier wines, one would not want to lose these creative and hard-working individuals from the BC wine scene. Here are notes on the wines.
Bartier Bros. Riesling 2022 ($24.99 for 723 cases). The fruit for this wine came from the South Thompson River Valley. Whole cluster crushed, the wine was fermented spontaneously in stainless steel and then aged three months in stainless steel. There is almost 13 grams of residual sugar but it is balanced superbly with nine grams of acid. This is a delicious wine. There is a hint of petrol in the aroma. On the palate, it mingles with flavours of lemon and grapefruit. 92.
Bartier Bros. Sauvignon Blanc 2023 ($24.99 for 215 cases). The fruit was whole-clustered pressed and then fermented cool with cultured yeast. The wine was aged four months in stainless steel. The fresh acidity gives this wine a zesty personality. There are aromas of lime. The palate is packed with fruits – lime, grapefruit, peach – and a touch of minerality is the spine that ties it altogether. 92.
Bartier Bros. Chardonnay 2023 ($24.99 for 521 cases). The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the wine was fermented with cultured yeast in stainless steel. The wine was aged four months in stainless steel. The wine begins with aromas of apple, pear and citrus. On the palate, it is a bowl of orchard fruits. 91.
Bartier Bros. Rosé 2023 ($19.99 for 1,800 cases). The blend is 56% Gewürztraminer, 24% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Gris, 8% Kerner and 2% Viognier. Both the Kerner and the Gewürztraminer grapes had limited skin contact to acquire colour and to enhance the flavours. The wine was aged three months in stainless steel, with no lees contact. The colour is fashionably pale. The aromas and flavours are more restrained that one would expect from the blend, with hints of strawberry, watermelon and citrus. 88.
Bartier Bros. Brut NV ($34.99). This is a traditional method sparkling wine from Chardonnay and it comes in an elegant bottle. It was aged four months in stainless steel and at least 12 months en tirage before being disgorged. The wine matches the elegance of the package. There is a touch of brioche in the aroma. The palate is seductive with a creamy mousse and with citrus and peach mingled in the flavours. 93.
Bartier Bros. Merlot 2022 ($25.99 for 1,264 cases). The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks; and the wine was aged 15 months in neutral French oak barrels. The wine begins with aromas of cherry, blueberry and cassis which are echoed on the palate. The underlying spine of minerality gives the wine something of a brooding character. 90.
Bartier Bros. Granite 2021 ($29.99 for 764 cases). This is a blend of 53% Syrah, 32% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. On tasting this delicious blend, one can only mourn the loss of Syrah. The wine is rich, with flavours of dark cherry, mocha and licorice coating the palate. 92.
Bartier Bros. Orchard Row 2021 ($39.99 for 250 cases). This is a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 38% Pinot Noir and 21% Merlot. The wine was aged 16 months in neutral French oak. This is a wine with bright and lively fruit, with zesty blackberry mingled with cherry aromas and flavours. 91.
Bartier Bros. Pinot Noir 2022 ($39.99 for 352 cases). This is 97% Pinot Noir (with grapes from Kamloops) and 3% Similkameen Petit Verdot. The grapes were crushed into one-ton fermenters and macerated for 18 days. The wine was aged 17 months inm neutral French oak. This is a dark, medium-bodied wine with aromas and flavours of spice and dark cherry. 90.
Bartier Bros. Piquette White ($15.99 for four 355 ml cans). The wine is crisp and quite dry, with citrus on the restrained palate. 86.
Bartier Bros. Piquette Rosé ($15.99 for four 355 ml cans). This wine, with just 4.2% alcohol, is refreshingly clean and crisp, with hints of raspberry. 88.