Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In Anticipation Of…

With winter upon us and wineries busy with finishing the wines from the previous year(s), the river of BC wine releases has slowed to a trickle. This gives us time to continue our look ahead at 2012 with a focus on yet to be released or even tasted wines.

Based on previous successes and recent vintage conditions we're expecting great things from the following 8 wines in 2012. Only time will tell if they will live-up to expectations. We'll be sure to post full tasting notes as we get our hands on them.

Fairview Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Expected Spring release. The 2010 release was possibly the firm's best yet with an excellent combination of crisp acidity and granny smith apple, lemon grass and grapefruit flavours. However, the 190 cases released last Spring were snatched-up so quickly that only a few lucky souls were able to get their hands on it. For the 2011 release the production has been increased to 600+ cases due to bumper crops of Sauvignon Blanc from the Fairview and Iverson vineyards which are blended with small amounts of Semillon to make the final wine. Finding the 2011 version should be an easier exercise.

Crooked Post Vineyard 2010 Pinot Noir
Possible Spring release. Produced by Fairview Cellars' Bill Eggert, this single vineyard Pinot has shown good progression since its inaugural vintage in 2008. The Pinot-friendly 2010 weather along with a maturing vineyard and increased Pinot producing experience for Eggert creates a happy trifecta of anticipation generation.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red
Possible late Summer release. Easily the most affordable of the elite Meritage blends available on the market today, the 2Bench Red benefits from a patient winery who grant it an extra year of bottle aging prior to release.

JoieFarm 2010 Reserve Chardonnay
Expected Fall release. Few wineries have released a more consistently delicious product than the Reserve Chardonnay from JoieFarm. Vintage variation, both good and bad, remains relevant despite the multiple vineyard blending process employed by winemaker Heidi Noble for her Chardonnay and since conditions were excellent in 2010 for the cool-climate style, our expectations are high. To help pass the time until the Fall, seak-out the still available 2009 vintage.

Howling Bluff Estate Winery 2010 Summa Quies Pinot Noir
Possible Spring release. We're not the only ones excited about the results of a Pinot friendly vineyard in a Pinot friendly vintage. Proprietor Luke Smith notes "2010 was some of the best Pinot Noir fruit I have ever seen from our vineyard and from the Three Sisters vineyard and anecdotally my peers echo those thoughts about Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay here on the bench." May be hard to improve on the gorgeous 2009 vintage, but here's hoping.

La Frenz Winery 2009 Grand Total Reserve
Expected June release. The "Big Reds" from the hot 2009 vintage produced by veteran Okanagan wineries have thus far been some of best in years. The La Frenz Grand Total Reserve is always one of the best "icon wines" of the year yet never seems to get the press of its peers. Well, that may all change in 2012 with the release of the 2009 Grand Total and its typical, ultra-smooth, effortless expression of dark fruit and toasted oak.

Stoneboat Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir
Expected June release. On the pedigree of the terrific 2008 and 2009 releases and with 2010 vintage Pinots from equally proficient wineries already scoring well, we wait in giddy anticipation of what Stoneboat's interpretation of the heart break grape will offer. Will the nice earth notes remain? Will there be more minerality? Time will tell.

Cassini Cellars 2009 Nobilus
No firm word on this wine's existence let alone a release date. If it does, then I can't wait to taste it. the 2008 was amazing and really showed what wineries can do with Merlot as a showpiece wine rather than just a blending component or as a roster-filling release.

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