Last weekend I had the opportunity to watch the SuperBowl, eat chili with light rye toast, be amazed by Pete's neighbour and drink 5 high calibre BC Red wines all in the same day.
The game was bad
The Chili was excellent
The toast was slightly underdone
Pete's neighbour is certifiable and probably has a large cache of handguns somewhere in the watershed
Now onto the wine. The five wines were Mission Hills Estate Reserve Merlot 1999, Desert Hills Meritage 2002, La Frenz Shiraz 2002 or maybe 2003, Black Hills Nota Bene 1999 and 2002. Three of these wines were very good, the first three, but the Black Hills once again disappointed.
Nota Bene has a cult-like following but I have never been impressed and once again found both vintages lacking in red fruits and having a distinct greenness to them, I just can't recommend these wines given their $35+ retail price.
The Mission Hill was the most surprising of the wines with lots of fruit remaining and a nice chocolate-cassis character with enough toasty oak still there to make me think it will last another 2 years but it is delightful right now.
Desert Hills are a small, under publicized winery very close to Black Hills geographically. In August of last year I bought their Merlot and Meritage during my annual Okanagan trip and was not impressed with the Merlot, which I found green (again) and poorly balanced. The 2002 Meritage fared much better with lots of red and black fruits and a nice mid to long finish, I wouldn't hold it long but after the disappointment of the Merlot the Meritage was encouraging.
The LaFrenz Shiraz was simply delicious with lots of Oz style blueberry and plum flavours and the evidence of French Oak, the vines are young but prudent cropping has produced the best BC Shiraz I have had the opportunity to taste and excellent value at $25. Of course it's sold out but hey - look for it next year.
Don also brought a bottle of wine but since he purchased it from a store which is in clear view of three of the seven gates to Hell I'm not even going to talk about it.