Oliver’s Hester Creek Winery has also just released a crop of stellar reds to invigorate your fall and winter wining and dining.
A splash of Viognier was added to the Hester Creek 2016 Syrah-Viognier ($29) to enhance aromatics and flavours.
The result is a traditional Rhone-style red with aromas and flavours of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, violet, pepper and even some smoked meat.
The Hester Creek 2016 Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franc ($29) is from vines that are a half-century old.
As such, the wine reflects the complexity, elegance and finesse that comes with age.
Expect an opening of cherry, raspberry and blackberry followed by vanilla, cocoa and toast.
The 2016 Terra Unica ($33) is a two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Syrah blend that works on every level.
Concentrated plum, blackberry and blackcurrant meld with cocoa, coffee and cedar.
As the heft of the bottle and the name indicates, The Judge is Hester Creek’s flagship red.
The limited edition 2015 ($50) blends Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to perfection to create a sumptuous Bordeaux-style red with finegrained tannins surrounded by cherry, plum, malt, caramel, vanilla, cedar and mint.
Serve it with beef tenderloin or the thickest of New York steaks.
Now that our mouths are watering for exceptional red wine, lets talk decanting.
Rather than simply uncork (or unscrew) that beautiful red, splash it in a glass and drink it back, delay and intensify your gratification with a breath of fresh air.
All decanters, regardless of shape, size and price, are designed to introduce oxygen to the wine as its poured in and out of the vessel.
Air helps dissipate odours and flavours you don’t want and lift and enchance the ones you do. The result is a smoother and brighter wine. Basically, the wine, which has been cooped up in a bottle for years, is expressing itself at its best.
If you’re in a rush, even 15 minutes of decanting will make a difference.
But a couple of hours is ideal.
With the Okanagan wine harvest well underway, it looks like its going to an overachiever on all fronts.
Grape flavours and acidity are reported to be above average thanks to a long growing season with moderate summer heat.
And the volume tends to be 10 to 20 per cent greater across the board.
It all means we can expect more extraordinary wine from the 2018 vintage.
The harvest started in late August when grapes destined for sparkling wine and aromatic wines began coming in. White varietals continue to be picked along with reds. The majority of the harvest is wrapped up by early November.
And then it’s a waiting game for the first hard frost to freeze the last of the grapes left on the vines to make ice wine.
B.C. is home to 929 vineyards over 10,500 acres, which produce about 32 tons of grapes annually.
Most of the tonnage, 41 per cent, comes from the Oliver area, followed by Osoyoos at 21 per cent, Penticton (Naramata) at 10 per cent and Kelowna with eight per cent.
Total B.C. VQA wine sales last year were 14.1 million litres.
Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend’s business and wine reporter and columnist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decanting red helps the wine best express itself.