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Voices on Wine: Black Hills strikes again

Time:2017-10-29 07:32wine - Red wine life health Click:

Wine Black Hills Again Voices

If you ask wine lovers for their favourite B.C. winery, many would answer Black Hills Estate Winery. Founded in 1999, it produces wine exclusively from its estate vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, north of Osoyoos.

The vineyard microclimate is one of the hottest, driest, and sunniest sites in the South Okanagan, allowing the vines to yield flavourful grapes of balanced intensity. With director Glenn Fawcett, wine grower Steve Carberry, and winemaker Graham Pierce, Black Hills produces varietally-labelled Viognier, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Carménère.

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The winery is best known for its two signature blends: Alibi, a Bordeaux blended white and Nota Bene, a Bordeaux-style red.

My favourite Black Hills white is the barrel-fermented 2015 Chardonnay ($35.87). I loved its toasted nut and vanilla bouquet and the complex flavour of oak and apple fruit with hints of freshly baked bread and butter on the finish.

B.C. Chardonnays have a wonderful amount of acid, which prevents heavy whites from being oppressive and the Black Hills has this asset. It also allows the Chardonnay to go so well with food. I enjoyed it with Wildebeest’s Japanese fried chicken with pickled shallots and lime mayo, as well as perch with broccolini and chili shrimp.

Switching colours, the 2015 Black Hills Syrah ($39.90) was a big hit. An opulent nose evolved from the glass, full of black cherry and boysenberry plus a sprinkle of violets and a whiff of oak and pepper. It enjoys an elegant juicy flavour with savoury notes of umami, licorice, and gentle smoke. I recently enjoyed it with chorizo sausage and Morbier cheese. Superb!  Enjoy now or age for up to five years.

And finally, the 2015 Nota Bene ($62.49), which means, “note well” or “pay attention to this!” It’s Black Hills iconic red, a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and some Cabernet Franc. Expect complexity from the variety of grapes, the superb growing conditions, and the aging in French and American oak.

Fawcett describes Nota Bene as “a guardian of memory makers, a wine for celebration.” Ready for celebrating tonight, Nota Bene will also pay dividends if you cellar it for a future celebration.

Eric is a retired Richmond educator and wine enthusiast. Email EHanson0705@gmail.com for more info.

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