Monday, May 18, 2020

Blue Mountain's two reserve whites

Photo: Blue Mountain's Matt Mavety

Two first-rate 2017 reserve white wines have recently been released by Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars.

In ordinary times, the wines would merit a visit to Blue Mountain to taste and to purchase. These are not quite ordinary times: tasting rooms are closed by suggestion of, and perhaps by order, of the provincial health officer.

To those with long memories, there is some irony in applying this to Blue Mountain. For the better part of two decades, the tasting room was open by appointment only, much to the disappointment of those who showed up without an appointment.

In spite of what some people thought, the policy was not there because the owners wanted to be curmudgeons. This is a family-run winery that did not have staff to man a tasting room each season. When more family members joined the business during the past decade, the wine shop has opened for visitors during the wine touring season.

So far this year, precautions against the COVID-19 virus have kept all winery tasting rooms closed. Some limited openings are anticipated in June or July. Perhaps the tasting rooms will operate close to normally by the fall wine festival (if there is one).

The current status, however, is laid out clearly on the Blue Mountain website:

To Our Valued Blue Mountain Supporters,
Due to the current and ongoing health situation, our tasting room will remain closed until further notice. We will continue to evaluate the situation surrounding COVID-19 and post any further updates on our website.  We hope to have further information late June.
Your support continues to mean a lot to us.  For those of you who would like to pick-up their wines from the winery we are now offering curbside pick-up.  We do require the following steps to be taken if you would like to take advantage of our curbside pick-up:
  • All orders must be processed ahead of time.
  • Please provide 48 hours notice prior to pick-up.
  • When you arrive at the gate please pull off to the side of the road and open your trunk so we can load your wine safely. Please call upon arrival (250) 497-8244.
It is our utmost importance to keep yourself and our employees safe so please stay in your car and we will do the heavy lifting for you!
Please do not hesitate to reach out and call the winery, (250) 497-8244 or email at

Here are notes of the two current releases that you should considering ordering and picking up:

Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Gris 2017 ($28). Think of a complex, full-bodied Pinot Gris from Alsace (at twice the price). Winemaker Matt Mavety begins with grapes from 31-year-old vines. The fruit is fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel (70%) and a selection of oak vessels (30%). The latter portion was aged sur lie for eight months. The wine begins with aromas of citrus and pear that are echoed on the palate, where the flavours mingle subtly with oak. A touch of spice picks up the persistent finish. 92.

Blue Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2017 ($30). Seventy percent of the fruit for this wine was fermented with wild yeast and aged 10 months in French oak (new to third fill). The wine begins with appealing aromas, with citrus and peach mingled with butter. The citrus and fruit flavours are fresh on the palate (only 20% of the wine was allowed to go through malolactic fermentation). This is an elegant Chardonnay with a lingering finish. 92.

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