Photo: Winemaker Mary McDermott in Township 7's cellar
The wines at Township 7 Vineyards & Winery have gone from strength to strength since 2014, when Beijing businessman Ge Song bought the winery in 2014.
He brought the resources to expand the winery to a capacity of 12,000 cases; to buy a major Oliver vineyard; and to update the equipment in the winery.
He pulled all of this together by hiring winemaker Mary McDermott, a talented winemaker from Ontario. Township 7 had been making good wines before that but Mary has raised the bar significantly.
Here are notes on this fall’s releases.
2017 Rock Pocket Vineyard ($17.97 for 78 cases; wine club only). This wine begins with delicate ginger and rose petal notes. The dry palate delivers flavours of orange peel. The crisp finish is lingering. 91.
Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($18.97 for 548 cases). Fermented in stainless steel, the wine begins with lime and stone fruits, leading to flavours of lime, guava and quince. The finish is crisp with lingering herbal notes. 90.
Township 7 Chardonnay 2017 ($20.97 for 648 cases). Half of this wine was fermented in new 1,000-litre oak fermenter. The other half was fermented in stainless steel. The wine begins with aromas of apple with subtle accents of vanilla. The flavours echo the aromas. There is also a rich buttery note on the finish. The commendable restraint on the oak means the wine delivers fresh fruit flavours. 91.
Township 7 Viognier Raju Vineyard 2017 ($24.97 for 498 cases). The Raju Vineyard is near Osoyoos. Some 30% of this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast in French oak barrels; the rest was fermented in stainless steel. Both the aromas and the flavours are intense, recalling peaches, apricots and passionfruit. The wine has good weight on the palate but the bright acidity maintains appealing freshness. 93.
Township 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($27.97 for 788 cases). The grapes for this are from the Blue Terrace Vineyard at Oliver which has supplied Township 7 since 2000. This was the vineyard which the winery purchased this summer. The wine, which was fermented in 5,000 litre oak fermenters, begins with aromas of black cherry and black currant mingled with toasty oak. On the palate, the flavours echo the aroma, with bright berry notes on the finish. The tannins are long and ripe. 90.