Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoran Estate Winery, Summerland, BC

Sonoran Estate Winery is named for the vast desert that stretches from southern California to the very northern tip of the Okanagan, of which Summerland could be considered part.

     I have had the good fortune to taste several of Sonoran's wines, and even visit the winery on two separate occasions. Life at Sonoran must be good, if one can judge such things from photos or from brief afternoon visits... and endless vista of rolling hills and warm lakeside, gentle breezes tickling one's nose with the perfume of grapes and orchardfruit heavy in the air and perhaps the merry sound of children playing nearby (or is that the winemaker having too much fun in the cellar?).

     Regardless of my "postcard" image of the serenity that must follow one's days in and around Summerland (*even the name inspires one to languish in a somewhat blissful stupor of barbeques and cold drinks by the pool), I know how hard the winemaker and all of his staff are indeed working. I know this because contrary to the images of joyous abandon, I've seen them hard at work.

     Summerland can reach day-time highs in the 30's and 40's Celsius in mid-summer, which translates to over 110F, which translates to damn hot. And yet, on they trudge and toil to bring us the fruit of an extra-ordinary terroir. Summerland's soil composition ( ) is characterized by AgriCanada as Skaha Loamy Sand, which is a coarse soil overlaying a gravelly deposit... that is to say, it drains well and allows the vine roots to dig deep for water and nutrients. This in fact will develop flavors all on it's own, even without the meddling of the benevolent winemaker. A unique terroir that winemakers the world over look at with a tinge (or more) of jealousy...

     And this is what comes from that land:

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon "Jazz Series", Sonoran Estate Winery
Summerland, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada
13.2% ABV, $24.95     ***EXCELLENT VALUE***
Fox's Reach Liquor Store, Maple Ridge
  • visual:   clean; deep plum-violet core with light cherry-brick rim (indicative of age)
  • nose:   clean; fully intense youthful bouquet showing development; wild exotic black florals including black lily, black rose, irises, rich red and black fruit including cherry, raspberry, plum, heavy and yet balanced oaking, long savory spicy notes of nutmeg and allspice, sweet end notes bring back the floral with a slight vegetal tinge
  • palate:   clean; dry, fully intense (red currant and cranberry) acids, moderate+ intense (slightly chewy) tannins, moderate+ ABV, moderate+ body, Excellent balance, structure and length
  • conclusion:    For $25 I would be hard-pressed to think of a better expression of BC Cabernet Sauvignon. Sonoran Estate had produced an excellent wine which shows incredibly well now with 2 hours decanting... this wine should still age and develop slightly in bottle until 2014 or so
  • PAIRINGS:   tonight Mrs. Astudentofwine and I enjoy this luscious wine with a prime rib roast beef, cook over a bed of savory herbs with steamed spaghetti squash and home-made onion rings.

beautiful people sampling beautiful wines at Sonoran
     It's a Sunday night, I've got my wife, a great dinner and I'm almost caught up on my studying. All is good in the world... reason enough to celebrate with a bottle from Sonoran Estate Winery!

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

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