Sunday, May 15, 2011

Melange Noir, Mt. Boucherie estate winery

In a place where winemaking is a relatively new process, and most vineyards are keeping their history in years rather then decades or centuries, the Gidda family and Mt Boucherie estate winery are making their mark ( .

Mt Boucherie vineyard in West Kelowna
   1968 was the inaugural year that saw them growing grapes for winemaking and now, over 40 years later, brothers Nirmal and Kaldeep are continuing to grow the family passion to greater heights. Although their state-of-the-art facility for processing, fermenting and bottling wine is in West Kelowna, British Columbia, the family now has over 300 acres of vineyards in the West Kelowna area, Okanagan Falls and Similkameen Valley near the township of Cawston. All of their wines are made using 100% estate sourced grapes to ensure quality can be guarded as closely as possible.

location of Cawston, Similkameen Valley DVA
   Cawston has become a recently "hotbed" of viticulture activity and the Gidda family aren't the only ones sourcing new land there. Cawston has a population under 1000 and yet still has 2 fruit processing plants, the newer of which has been built solely for organic produce... the number of wineries and vineyard is growing by double digit percentages as well.

   And what are these new vineyards growing? Well in Westbank one of the grapes of choice is Michurinetz, which is an Eastern European varietal extremely well suited to cold climates; high in acid it is now blended successfully with a varietal like Merlot which will balance the acidity and give some plushness to the thin juice. Michurinetz is also capable of greatness when the vines reach maturity, but in their youth can produce wines that are thin and acerbic. Marechal Foch, a hybrid developed in the early 1900's, was named in honor of one of the French generals instrumental in the peace treaty ending the First World War. This varietal also is grown successfully in Westbank and the Similkameen owing to it's cold-weather hardiness and also lends a vibrant acidity to blends...

2005 Melange-Noir summit reserve, Mt. Boucherie estate winery
West Kelowna, Okanagan Valley DVA, British Columbia
$22 CAD   *** Very Good Value ***

varietals:         100% estate grown Marechal Foch, Michurinetz, Merlot and Gamay Noir. 14% ABV
fermentation:   cold soak, then 7 days warm ferment
maturation:     19 months new and used French oak
  • visual:   clear; fully intense purple-garnet with cherry-brick rim
  • nose:   clean; fully intense and developed aromas of blackberries, dried saskatoons, dark cocoa, black florals, black cherries and cherry blossoms, black raspberry compote
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ (red/black currant) acids, moderate (green, grippy) tannins, moderate+ alcohol, moderate body, moderately intense and developed flavors of red and black currant, raspberry compote, blackberries, old leather, red and black cherries. Good balance, very good structure, medium length
  • conclusion:   drink now to 2013; will not develop further and is already losing concentration of flavor
  • PAIRINGS:   vibrant acids want some fat; I would use this for it's Gamay Noir and pair with boeuf bourguignon because the cream will balance the acids and the dried red berry flavors and aromas will love some red meat - consider using venison is you're daring and I think it will pay off~!

view from Mt Boucherie winery deck
   An interesting blend from an established BC winery, this was a unique experience. Paired with the right food I believe this wine can truly sing, but I would really like to come back and try it again when the vines have had a chance to develop further.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

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

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