Thursday, December 20, 2018

Noble Ridge's 2015 King's Ransom Cabernet is a stunner

Photo: Noble Ridge's Leslie and Jim D'Andrea

Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery has two remarkable vineyards in Okanagan Falls. The one at the winery’s tasting room is a rounded peak, with grape vines on all four exposures.

The result: fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon on one slope, fabulous Pinot Noir on another, and terrific fruit for sparkling wine on a third.

Retired lawyer Jim D’Andrea and his wife, Leslie, purchased this 25-acre hilltop in 2001. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay were already planted. They added Pinot Noir (for sparkling wine) and Pinot Gris. In 2006, they purchased an existing vineyard across the road.

Whenever the vineyards yield superlative fruit, the winery makes an ultra-premium wines that are released under the label, King’s Ransom.

This fall Noble Ridge released its first King’s Ransom Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2015 vintage. If ever there was a vintage to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon in the Okanagan, it had to be 2015. This is an expensive wine but it is also one of the best Cabernets ever from the Okanagan.

Earlier in the fall, the winery also released some reserve wines, with the head of a lion on each label. Think of them as the King’s pride of lions.

The most recent release also includes the 2015 vintage of “The One” – the winery’s                     traditional method sparkling wine. At the recent Judgement of BC tasting, where six BC sparkling wines were matched against six imported sparkling wines, The One was judged number two among the BC wines and fifth overall.

The bottom line: Noble Ridge is delivering very high quality wines.

Here are notes on the wines.

Noble Ridge Reserve Chardonnay 2015 ($N/A for 233 cases). This wine, which was aged 14 months in French oak, begins with aromas of peach and citrus. It is rich, even creamy, on the palate with flavours of butterscotch, hazelnut and marmalade. 91.

Noble Ridge The One Brut Sparkling Wine 2015 ($39.90 for 324 cases). This is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. The wine was 28 months en tirage. It is delicious, with notes of brioche on the nose and palate, along with subtle flavours of apple. The wine has two grams of residual sugar, just enough to support a generous texture on the palate. 92.

Noble Ridge King’s Ransom Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($109.90 for 170 cases). The bold and concentrated wine begins with aromas of black currant, black cherry and plum. On the palate, there are layers of dark fruit – black cherry, mulberry, black currant. The finish is enriched with flavours of dark chocolate, leather and cigar box. It is imperative to decant this wine so that it can express its power. The ripe tannins give it a generous texture. 95

Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage 2015 ($34.90 for 670 cases). This is 77% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, two per cent each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. This wine, which was aged 14 months in French and American oak, was double-decanted. It has aromas of black currant, black cherry and chocolate, which are echoed on the palate along with notes of chocolate and tobacco. 93.

Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir 2016 ($34.90 for 648 cases). This is a dark and muscular Pinot Noir that was aged 14 months in French oak (20% new). It has aromas and flavours of plum and cherry with a toasty note on the finish. Decant this wine. 91.

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