A Canadian Foursome

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There’s nothing like a quartet of Canadian wine to pass the weekend. This time we were tasked with west coast wine from the Okanagan Valley in that best of natural playgrounds, British Columbia.

Let’s see what the

The 2010 Noble Ridge Meritage, a blend of predominantly Merlot grapes with some Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak barrels, is a friendly and fruit-forward with a little spicy kick. Berries abound, driven first and foremost by blackberries. Built to please, this one’s a crowd pleaser.

About Noble Ridge: Jim and Leslie D’Andrea began the Noble Ridge winery in 2001. When they purchased the property it had only 3.5 acre of vines. Since then they have planted an additional 18 acres. Tending to vineyards and making the wines is all done by hand.

The 2010 Sonoran Estate Winery Jazz Series Riesling Gewrurztraminer, is a crisp blend with an aromatic component to please any Gewurz lover. Green apples and stone fruit, and a hint of citrus. Great balance! And do I have a daring pairing for you with this one – roasted kale chips. It surprised me how well the roasted kale and this wine go together, but there was a harmony in my mouth that was pretty damn astounding!

About Sonoran Estate: “Immigrants from Holland in 1982, the Smits family were Fraser Valley flower growers until moving in 2000 to a Summerland orchard set on a dramatic slope overlooking Lake Okanagan. After opening a highway-side bed and breakfast, the Smits replaced the fruit trees with vines, opening a winery with the first fruit from the vineyard. The varieties grown include merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, gewürztraminer, riesling, ehrenfelser and pinot blanc. In 2007, the family moved from the original Sonoran winery, which had difficult highway access, to a high-traffic site on the wine route in Summerland. Beginning with the 2005 vintage, Sonoran now releases its premium wines under the 13 Moons label. Inspired by the lunar cycles, the label also signals a commitment to biodynamic practices.” — BC Wine.com

2009 Dunham Froese MDC, a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Zinfandel, and 25% Syrah, is about as approachable as wine can get. Silky smooth, with the softness of a cool blueberry pie. A great solo joy, it doesn’t need food to make it memorable. The wine is a tribute to Dunham Froese proprietor Gene Covert’s late father, who was an avid Cab drinker.

About Dunham Froese: Dunham Froese, now known as Covert Farms, was founded in 2005 together by the Covert and and Froese families. Those wines from the early years were well received and the winery was named “Best New Winery to Watch for” in 2008 by the Okanagan Wine Festival Society. In 2011, the Covert family assumed full ownership.

2011 Platinum Bench Chardonnay, the inaugural release of this wine. It’s got even oaky backbone to make us know it means business, but without taking away that citrusy zing. MIngling iwth that citrus are crisp Granny Smith apples and a melony softness. Very refreshing on the finish. We previously wrote about Platinum Bench’s 2011 Gamay Noir and Pinot Gris, which we were fans of, so it’s very interesting to find another potent weapon in their vinous arsenal. These folks have sure come out swinging. Production is only 350 cases.

About Platinum Bench Estate Winery: We truly don’t know much yet about the Platinum crew. They’ve barely gotten here, and they’re winning awards and storming palates. The Oliver, BC winery was established in 2012 by Fiona Duncan and Murray Jones. And there’s a dog named Wally. What more is there to know?

And that’s all folks. Truly, it is.

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For more on wines from the Okanagan valley, this is the best book I know.