Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Icon Wine of the Year

2013 was another amazing year for wines with the proof showing in our Top 25 Icon Wines of the Year list. I'm confident every bottle on that list would satisfy even the most demanding of palates out there. However, there is always one wine which stands-out from its peers and remains imprinted in my mind's palate indefinitely, and for 2013 this wine is:

Stag's Hollow Winery 2010 Cachet No. 03
49% Tempranillo, 43% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
$50 - 55 cases - 14%
93+pts - Icon Score

Congratulations to our runner-ups for this year's Icon Wine of the Year award: the 99-point Silverback Vineyards 2011 Reserve Syrah and the sublime JoieFarm 2011 "En Famille" Reserve Gewurztraminer. Sadly, all three of our finalists for 2013 are in short supply and may take a bit of effort to get a hold of, though, your persistence will pay off.

The Wine
Produced under Stag's Hollow's premier Cachet Wines label reserved for special, one-off blends, that represent the very best of each vintage. The humbly named "No. 03", the third such wine to receive the designation, is a blend of 49% Tempranillo, 43% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is pure delight with loads of sweet, smoky fruit aromas and fragrant perfume notes; a truly sexy developing bouquet. The palate is fluid, medium-plus bodied, yet intense and powerful with layers of ripe plum and blackberry fruit mixed with exotic spices and savoury characters. The finish is long and balanced and beckons your continued attention.

The Story
As the story goes, during a busy day in the winery during harvest, proprietor and part-time forklift driver, Larry Gerelus, accidentally combined fruit from the Tempranillo bloc with the grapes picked from rows 1-4 of their home vineyard Merlot and chaos ensued. However, from chaos comes clarity and thus the fortuitous decision to live with the mistake and see what happens was made. With some later tweaking, via the addition of 8% Cabernet Sauvignon to help add some structure to the otherwise, middleweight wine, the extraordinary finished product more than made-up for Larry's 'mistake'... and the rest, as they say, is history.

Stag's Hollow Winery has long been a producer of some of the Province's most inventive and challenging wines and Cachet No. 03 is the winery's (current) highpoint - a proclamation to the rest of Canada that something special is going on in Okanagan Falls.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

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