Writer and wine columnist John Schreiner is Canada's most prolific author of books on wine.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Bartier Bros. opens for the season
Photo: Michael Bartier (credit Shari Saysomsack)
It says something about the popularity of rosé wines that a small producer like Bartier Bros. made almost 3,000 cases in the 2020 vintage.
Located just off Black Sage Road between Oliver and Osoyoos, the winery is operated by brothers Michael and Don Bartier. Michael began making wine for the label in 2009. In 2015, after buying grapes for several years from the Cerqueira Vineyard, the brothers were able this vineyard and build a winery there.
Michael believes that the terroir of the vineyard – an ancient gravel bar – gives a special minerality to the wines. “Every vintage, the wines are fresh, fruity and minerally,” Michael says. “That limestone ends up in every glass of our wine.”
The Bartier Bros. tasting room opened daily, starting the Easter weekend. This year, the winery offers visitors three choices: a 90-minute tour and tasting, including either a selection of chocolate or charcuterie for $30 a person; a 45-minute seated tasting on the winery’s outdoor patio for $15; or a selection of four wines at the tasting bar for $10 a person (waived with the purchase of $30 worth of wine).
In all cases, reservations are recommended.
Here are notes on four current releases.
Bartier Bros. Rosé 2020 ($17.99 for 2,981 cases). The blend is 52% Chardonnay, 42% Gewürztraminer and just 6% Merlot. This is just enough Merlot to have the wine its fashionably pale hue. This is delightfully refreshing wine, with aromas of citrus. On the palate, there are flavours of wild strawberry. 91.
Bartier Bros. Merlot 2019 ($22.90 for 390 cases). By aging this wine 14 months in neutral French oak, the winery achieved the best of both worlds: the benefit of barrel aging to soften the tannins but without obscuring the bright fruit. The wine has aromas and flavours of cherry, blueberry and cassis, with hints of plum on the lingering finish. 91.
Bartier Bros. Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre 2019 ($41.99 for 275 cases). This wine was aged 14 months in neutral French oak after fermentation and maceration averaging 22 days. The result is a complex and brooding red, with aromas and flavours of pepper, blackberry and cherry with an earthy finish. 92.
Bartier Bros. The Orchard Row 2019 ($36.99 for 209 cases). The blend is 47% Cabernet Franc, 24% Gamay Noir, 24% Pinot Noir and 5% Syrah. After fermenting in one-ton open-top fermenters, the wine was aged 14 months in neutral French oak. The wine begins with bright floral aromas of raspberry and blackberry. On the palate, it delivers rich flavours of plum and cherry. 92.