Canada’s British Columbia 2021: Let’s get started with a couple of whites

As far as British Columbia wines go there is a bit of tyranny of Okanagan wines made available to us here in Ontario through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. I am a happy serf with that because Okanagan wines that I have tasted have been exceptional. But a break is both appreciated and educational.

The Okanagan in my humble view produces some of the best Canadian Pinot Grigio and for the most part better than Italian Pinot Grigios. So here we have a Pinot Gris from the Similkameen Valley VQA appellation. And it has a very French name to the winery, Mt. Boucherie.

It has a light salmon coloration. On the nose tangerine, apricot, musk melon, mango and peach. Busy and delicious anticipation is building. On the palate it is a full-bodied white with a long finish There is some Texas pink grapefruit, mango, peach and papaya with a slight bit of sweetness on the finish but I would not venture to classify it as off dry. I would pair it with a smoked salmon pasta. Sautee some onions and garlic, throw in some of this wine then a can of tomatoes with some basil and oregano and as much 35% cream and smoked salmon as you wish. Serve over fettucine.

British Columbia again shows its mastery of Pinot Grigio perhaps made the way it is supposed to be made. This may very well be the best Pinot Grigio I have ever had.

(Mt. Boucherie Pinot Gris 2019, BC VQA Similkameen Valley, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, West Kelowna, British Columbia, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 17864, 750 mL, 12.3%, Robert K. Stephen Set The Bar Rating 94/100).

Back to the Okanagan with a Quails’ Gate 2018 Chardonnay. You can tell right off the bat this golden coloured wine has an oak touch to it. But are we in ABC (anything but Chardonnay) land so named by malcontents tired with over oaked Chardonnay that was popular for many years with consumers?

So, on the nose aside from the oak, pineapple upside down cake, Matsu apples, pears and guava. On the palate it is medium bodied with a sneaky long and soft finish. It has an almost creamy texture with notes of butterscotch and pear. There is definitely some acidity but it is playing hide and seek behind the oak. A very well put together oaked Chardonnay for those who like oaked Chardonnay but it is oaked to moderation so that it can be a good sipper. I like oaked Chards with a simple as can be butter garlic shrimp, A match made in heaven. Drink by 2024 and serve cool and not cold. Not being dramatic here but serve it cold and you’ll just about ruin it.

(Quails’ Gate 2018 BC VQA Okanagan Valley Chardonnay, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, West Kelowna, British Columbia, $24.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 377770, 750 mL, 13%, Robert K. Stephen Set The Bar Rating 89/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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