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Friday, January 27, 2012


Give Desert Hills wines a try


interest to this wine. The tannins and acidity ost B.C. wine lovers are familiar with are evident on the palate, so I would recomBurrowing Owl Estate Winery and mend a red meat choice with this offering. Black Hills Estate Winery on the An old-world style red, the 2007 Select Black Sage Bench area south of Oliver in the Syrah is an interesting wine. Mingled with Interior. Many, however, have not heard of cassis and black cherry, the earthy undertones Desert Hills Winery, which is located on 24 reflect hints of spice, dried herbs and leather acres of land between these two famous landon the finish. This wine is not as marks. bold as your typical Australian These east-to-west slopes prodShiraz, but the lighter style sucuce some of the very best vinifera cessfully reflects the terroir (the grapes in the Okanagan. The total natural environment in varietals grown include Cabernet which a particular wine is proSauvignon, Syrah, Gamay, Malbec, duced) of the Southern Okanagan. Merlot and Pinot Gris. A rare varietal for the Okanagan, Randy Toor and his brothers the 2008 Zinfandel Proprietor’s purchased the winery in 1988 Wine Sense Reserve is a well-balanced wine and have produced some of the featuring black fruit, spice and a best wines found in the South John Gerum toasty cedar palate. The long finish Okanagan. Desert Hills winemaker is surprising, as this wine comes in Elias Phiniotis has 45 years of at 15-per-cent alcohol. Slow-cooked barbecue experience in crafting top-rated vintages. I recently stopped by the Swirl VQA BC Wine comes to mind as an interesting pairing. Finally, the Mirage Proprietor’s Reserve Store in Maple Ridge to taste the full lineup of 2006 was sampled. A true Bordeaux blend of Desert Hills offerings. I found some interestCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet ing wines among the large selection, and made Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine is ready to sure to sketch some tasting notes. drink. Well-aged with an orange rim, this wine The 2009 Pinot Gris is a citrus and green displays subdued berry fruit, tobacco, coffee apple driven wine, and hints of pear are interolive and peppery spice. A long finish ends with woven with a rich mouth feel. This wine is a touch of herbs and oak. Try this one with quite tart on the finish, indicating a successfilet mignon. ful match with creamy pasta sauces and soft Some of these wines can be pricey, but when cheeses. you think of the quality — and the prices their The 2009 Un-oaked Chardonnay has tart neighbours are charging — I’m sure you’ll find orchard fruit and is a very light version for a a Desert Hills wine you will enjoy. Chardonnay. A bit thin into the mid-palate, this wine would match well with roast chicken • John Gerum is a wine instructor, or lighter seafood dishes. writer and consultant with West Coast Wine The 2008 Merlot Proprietor’s Reserve is a Education. For information on wine tastings, medium-bodied wine with dark and red fruit workshops, classes and clubs, visit www. aromas such as cherry, red currant and berry. Cedar toast, cinnamon and cloves add

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Coquitlam Now January 27 2012  

Coquitlam Now January 27 2012