Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Township 7 trio of whites reflect the strong 2015 vintage

Photo: Winemaker Mary McDermott (courtesy Township 7)

In a happy conjunction of events, Township 7’s 15th anniversary last year coincided with one of the Okanagan’s best vintages.

“An early spring start provided the necessities for superior vine growth,” the winery explained in a note on the vintage. “July and August were very sunny and hot, leading to good sugar development within the grapes and much earlier ripening than normal. A harvest for the record books was finished at our earliest date ever, October 8.”

That quality assessment is backed up by three 2015 white wines just released by the winery.

In the past several years, the winery has undergone a number of key changes. These included a change of ownership. The new owners, in the usual style of Chinese owners, have maintained an extremely low profile.

It is clear, however, that they are committed to ensuring the winery makes quality wines and continues to provide good hospitality experiences for wine tourists.

The Township 7 winery in Langley – the original of its two properties – was renovated last year with upgrades to the grounds and with the addition of a VIP tasting room serving, among others, members of the winery’s wine club.

At the winery’s Naramata Bench winery, winemaker Mary McDermott has presided over the cellar since 2014. Last fall, the owners put up the money to install a new crusher destemmer and several 5,000-litre French oak tanks.

This year, the entire cellar will be nearly doubled in size. “This provides our winemaker and her team the necessary space for the additional small lot wines that we have planned,” the winery says in a note accompanying the three spring releases.

Here are my notes on the wines.

Township 7 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($17.97 for 898 cases). This zesty wine begins with aromas of herbs and lime, leading to flavours of lime and lemon. There is good weight on the palate and the wine has a crisp, clean finish. 90.

Township 7 7 Blanc 2015 ($17.97 for 498 cases). This is a blend of 40% Pinot Gris, 50% Gewürztraminer and 10% Riesling. The 14 grams of residual sugar here pop the flavours of peach, guava and citrus; but the acidity is bright enough to keep the finish fresh. The winery calls this an ice cream sundae but I think you will enjoy this even if you don’t have a sweet tooth. 90.

Township 7 Muscat 2015 ($17.97 for 88 cases … only for the wine club). This wine begins with an appealing floral and spicy aroma, leading to flavours of herbs and a hint of ginger. The palate is light and the finish is dry. This is a delicate wine to be enjoyed just for the purity of its fruit flavours and aromas. 91.

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