Hester Creek

The Daily Courier - - WINE & DINE -

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.

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 steve.mac­naull@ok.bc.ca.

Spe­cial to The Okana­gan Week­end

De­cant­ing red helps the wine best ex­press it­self.

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