Harry McWatters is a pioneer in the BC wine industry. He was the founder of BC’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in 1980 and founded See Ya Later Ranch Estate Winery in 1995. He “retired” from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in 2008, but that retirement still sees him very active, setting up the TIME Estate Winery producing wine under that label as well as under McWatters Collection.
From the TIME Estate Winery website, I also read, “…Harry is the founding chair of the British Columbia Wine Institute. In addition, he is the founding chair of the British Columbia Wine Information Society. He is also a Director of the Canadian Vintners Association, founding Chairman of VQA Canada and is the founding Chairman of the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation… “. A very busy man!
Harry’s grapes come from the well-respected Sundial Vineyard in Oliver, BC. I received a shipment of TIME Estate and McWatters Collection wines, of which I am going to talk about the Chardonnay produced under each label.
Time Estate Winery Chardonnay 2013 (BC $27.99) – The grapes for this wine were harvested September 30, 2013, and the wine was crafted by fermenting 1/3 of it in oak, aging 1/3 of it in barrels for 4 months, and the remaining 1/3 was both fermented and aged in stainless steel. The wine has lots of tropical fruit on the nose, together with lees and vanilla. With some decanting the citrus started to become more evident. The wine is quite round, tasting slightly off-dry, with quite a heavy mouth feel, and almost an oily texture on the tongue. The acidity starts off low, but picks up on the finish. Primarily tropical fruit flavour, but there is also some pears, citrus, vanilla and lees. On the finish, as mentioned, the acidity picks up, and as well has a touch of butterscotch, and quite a bit of spiciness on the tongue. Medium length. This is quite a good wine, and I would recommend drinking it sooner, rather than aging it.
Rating: A real heavy weight chardonnay. Pronounced flavour of tropical fruit. Noticeable oak but not overpowering.
Harry McWatters Collection Chardonnay 2013 (BC $24.99) – Picking of the grapes for this wine began on September 30th for their Chardonnay Clone 76. On October 2, their Chardonnay Clone 96 was harvested. (I am not sure of the clonal selection for the TIME Estate Winery grapes.) The wine is medium lemon colour in the glass. Nice nutmeg and vanilla scents, with light tropical fruit and stone fruit aromas. With some decanting, the oak in the wine became more evident. This wine is more restrained on the palate compared to the TIME Estate wine. It is medium body, round, and silky textured. Light nutmeg and tropical fruit flavours upon first sip, leading to a second layer of citrus. There is also a hint of honey also on the palate. Medium plus length. Mouth watering acidity on the finish and pronounced nutmeg. With decanting the wine became fruitier, smoother, and more inviting to sip. Also the acidity is more subdued with decanting. Buy a few bottles. Drink some now and maybe the rest in 1-2 years.
Rating: An elegant chardonnay, silky on the mouth, restrained with layers of tropical and citrus fruits.