A Tale of Two Big Boys 

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This here’s the story of two top shelf reds from the ridiculously stellar 09 vintage in the Pacific Northwest, at least north of the 49th parallel (that’s Trumpless nation for those of you who don’t know your parallels).

I’ve had both of these big boys a while, stored in identical conditions, so interesting to see how these wines are showing seven years on. So let’s pop some corks…


First up is The Judge, a Bordeaux blend from Hester Creek Winery. It comes with a solid pedigree and shouldnt be drunk young. Unfortunately, I may have held onto The Judge too long. This blend of Can Franc, Sauv and Merlot from the Golden Mile Bench in the south of the Okanagan Valley is fading. Great on opening but dies quickly when it gets air so don’t decant. Drink now!

The Seven Stones Speaking Rock Cab Sauv from the unheralded Similkameen Valley (a sliver of land running just north of the US border and between high and dry mountains that cut a long shadow across the valley floor at dusk and dawn) is thundering along with depth and complexity that will make you swoon. Hard to say how much is left in the tank but if you open now, you won’t be sorry. Drink now or hold for another year.

It’s interesting, the lives of wines. Just like our offspring, it’s hard to exactly pinpoint when they’ll mature no matter the advice that’s given and the work done.