Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Photo Album - Fairview Cellars

After many trips through the Okanagan Valley to visit its wineries and meet the folks behind the great wines on offer, I've accumulated many photographs over the years.

Though most BC wine connoisseurs have, by now, tasted the fantastic red wines of Fairview Cellars, many have yet to visit in person - 'a must' to fully appreciate everything that goes into the bottle. These photos were taken from many different visits to the Golden Mile Bench winery.

Fairview Cellars sign - miss this and you miss the turn

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Get To Know... Jim Faulkner

Photo courtesy Mt. Boucherie Winery
Jim Faulkner
Vintner, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
West Kelowna, BC

After stints in various positions at CedarCreek, Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Church and State, Jim Faulkner took on the head winemaker duties at West Kelowna's Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery in 2009.

Over the past 6 years, Faulkner has helped to elevate the quality of the wines at the family run Mt. Boucherie and the firm has been collecting medals for their efforts.

Get to know Jim and get to know Mt. Boucherie's wines a bit better...

Key Wines To Try:
Family Reserve Chardonnay: 2011
Family Reserve Gamay Noir: 2012
Sémillon: 2011

1. What do you enjoy most about making wine?
Everyday day is different. Some days it’s in the vineyards, some days it’s squishing grapes, some days it’s physical, some days it’s social, but every day is good.

2. What inspired you to become a winemaker?
Winemaking was something that was not planned. I had just left the nightclub industry and was open to a new career. I took some time off to ponder my future. Took a crush job to fill in some time, and fell in love with the industry. It was really exciting to see and taste how things changed daily. Went to winemaking school and here I am today.

3. What causes you the most stress during harvest?
If I am all planned out, not a lot can stress me. Perhaps the weather, it’s about the only thing I can’t plan for.

4. What is your favourite and/or least favourite wine cliché?
I not a big fan of the term “wine diamonds”. They are tartrates.

5. Away from the cellar and vineyard, what’s your greatest passion in life?
Spending time with my wife and two children. Preferably in a foreign country with wineries and vineyards.

6. After a long day of work in the cellar, what do you turn to for refreshment?
A Beefeater 24 Gin martini with three olives. Gently stirred, not shaken.

7. If you could take credit for one other BC wine on the market today, which would it be and why?
There are wines out there that I like to drink and I wish I had made, but I can’t take credit for somebody else’s efforts.

8. Of the wines in your portfolio, do you have a favourite food pairing to go with one of the wines?
If I could be greedy here, I would have two wines paired with the same dish. The 2012 Family Reserve Chardonnay and the 2010 Family Reserve Pinot Noir both paired with mushroom risotto.

9. What do you think will be the next big trend in BC wine over the next few years?
Sub appellations, or at least people lobbying for them.

10. Screwcap or cork? What’s your preference?
Tough question. They both have their place in the market. I have had some really nice wines in both. Not all lesser quality wines go in screw. Nor do all better quality wines go in cork. If I was forced to give an answer and could not find a corkscrew, I would have to say screwcap.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Photo Album - Burrowing Owl

After many trips through the Okanagan Valley to visit its wineries and meet the folks behind the great wines on offer, I've accumulated many photographs over the years.

Situated along the Black Sage Bench, Burrowing Owl is a Southern Okanagan institution that offers great wines, fabulous food and amazing views. The following photos were all taken during a visit in the Spring of 2009.

Burrowing Owl as seen from the Golden Mile Bench

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Monthly Picks: February '15 - Ce Soir, Gamay Noir

This month's theme is and ode to the tasty French grape Gamay, which traces its origin to the region of Burgundy as a cross between Pinot Noir and an ancient white variety called Gouais. These days Gamay, or Gamay Noir as it is also known, is grown all over the world from California to Australia and closer to home in the Okanagan Valley and on the Niagara Peninsula. 

Many folks first think of the quickly produced (and occasionally sketchy) Beaujolais Nouveau when they hear "Gamay", but the grape has so much more to offer as the following 5 examples can attest.

Chateau Des Charmes 2012 Gamay Noir - $14
A raw, in-your-face Gamay Noir that smells and tastes (rather specifically) like a handful of crushed, slightly under-ripe, black cherries soaked in POM Wonderful juice. Beyond the fruit lies layers of earthy flavours and sweet'n'spicy liqueur notes.
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Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2013 Gamay Noir - $23
Needs a good long decant to open-up and settle, revealing a pleasant nose of wild berry and mixed dried fruit aromas with soft notes of mocha and light caramel. The palate is Beaujolaise-Village-like with a nice balance of texture between bright, red fruit and fleshy, gamey flavours and finishes long with lingering spice.
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JoieFarm 2012 Gamay - $24
This medium-ruby hued Gamay is sourced from a single-vineyard on the Naramata Bench and boasts an engaging, savoury nose of cured meats, bay leaf, warm rocks, onion salt and white pepper aromas with ripe berry notes adding a layer of sweetness to the developing bouquet.
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Maison Louis Latour 2011 Bourgogne Gamay - $25
This Gamay, sourced from multiple vineyard sites in Burgundy, is fruit-driven on the nose with lovely, raspberry and spicy plum aromas supported by light notes of cola, vanilla and a hint of menthol. A touch more tannin on the finish than its Beaujolais-Village cousins to the South.
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Mt. Boucherie Winery 2012 Family Reserve Gamay Noir - $30
Vanilla-Cherry Coke and Christmas Cake spice aromas greet you on the nose of this funky Gamay Noir from Mt. Boucherie. The palate offers a medley of tastes from sweet, juicy red fruit, to tangy cranberry acidity to earthy herbs'n'spice.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015 IconWines.ca