The first winery visited was Lotusland Winery. This winery produces wines from grapes that are 100% grown in the Fraser Valley. The grapes are grown organically, but not yet certified. Their most popular white wine is the Girlsrmeaner 2008. This is a blend of gewurztraminer and other varietals (my guess is both Riesling and Ortega). It is medium lemon colour and leaves legs in the glass. Lychee, citrus and flowery aromas. Light body, off dry with citrus and slight spice. A summer sipper. My favourite white was the Lotusland Riesling. It is a non-vintage wine, meaning it is a blend from several different years. This is not a bad thing. It let’s you develop a house style, which is something that Champagne houses do in France. This riesling was deep lemon in colour. Slightly sweet nose with lemon and a bit of petrol. Fairly sweet flavour, with lemon and petrol. A very round mouthfeel. The petrol was nicely balanced with the fruitiness of the wine.
On the red side of their winesI quite enjoyed their Cabernet Franc 2003 and Merlot 2004. The Lotusland Cabernet Franc 2003 had a very nice nose with cherries, vanilla, and a slight bit of cedar (or could be capsicum). Medium body with oak/vanilla and cherry flavours. I really like Cabernet Franc, the father of Cabernet Sauvignon. If you haven’t tried Cabernet Franc, you may be pleasantly suprised. The Lotusland Merlot 2004 was deep garnet, with a opaque core. Earthiness with dark fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium tannins with dark fruit flavours. This is a very dense wine.
The next stop on my wine tour was Blackwood Lane Vineyards & Winery. This winery produces some very high quality wines. I was quite impressed with all their wines. The grapes for their wines come from the Oliver area, which produces very ripe fruit. All their wines use new oak barrels and they do not filter their wines, allowing you to get a taste of the wine, just as if it were a barrel sample. Filtering can strip away flavour from a wine if it is overdone. An unfiltered wine keeps you as close to the true flavour of the wine as you can get.
The Blackwood Lane Merlot 2006 spent 16 months in 100% new French barriques before bottling. Medium garnet with some cloudiness due to being unfiltered. Slight capsicum, with vanilla and black cherry aromas. Quite dry on the palate with black cherry, plum, raspberry, and some spiciness. This is a very complex wine. Their Alliance 2006 was also excellent (and I think my favourite of the flight that was poured for me that day). This is their signature Bordeaux blend. It contains 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 29% Merlot. The wine was produced from 65% free run juice, which minimizes the amount of tannin that gets into the must before the fermentation process, giving you a softer wine, with hopefully no harsh tannins. This wine was deep garnet in colour. Meaty, dark fruit, cherry, and chocolate aromas in the glass. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with red and black cherries and vanilla flavours. A long, dry finish with lingering notes of cedar and cherry. Wonderful.
My last stop on my Fraser Valley winery tour was the Mt. Lehman Winery. The owner and wine maker, Vern, lead me through his award winning wines. Mt. Lehman Winery is 100% organic and only sells their wines from the winery. All the grapes for his wines are grown on the property. So you will need to make a trip to see them, try their wines, and buy a few that you enjoy. Their Pinot Grigio 2008 I was told is one of their best selling wines. This wine had light lemon and apple aromas. Light in body, dry and refreshing. Flavours of lemon, apricot and apple. Enjoy with some fresh seafood. If you are a Pinot Noir fan like me, be sure to try their Pinot Noir Reserve 2008. This wine is made in a New World style. Light garnet in colour with strawberry, raspberry and a bit of smoky aromas. Silky in your mouth with cherry, vanilla and strawberry flavours. Grilled lamb chops would be nice here. Also, as a bit of a special tasting for me, Vern, let me sample his Merlot Reserve 2008. This is a block buster red wine. Opaque purple in the glass. Smoky with lots of raspberry and plum aromas. Full, big mouthfeel of black fruit, raspberry, and vanilla.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and maybe drop bye one of these wineries.
If you would like to read about Part 1 of my trip, which covered Township 7, Neck of the Woods, and Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery, click on the Fraser_Valley_wineries_2010_Part_1 link.
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