I first wrote this article in August 2015 when these 2 wines were first released during a walk about food & wine tasting, but then in the Fall I received a bottle of each wine again at home to re-taste. Since August, approximately 4 months have elapsed till this re-taste. Both wines are under screw cap, so did the aromas and flavours, and my rating of these wine change? I have my original article for you to read first, then at the bottom is my revised tasting notes and comments. Enjoy!
From the label, simple with a stylized fern leaf on it, to the first sniff of the Fern Walk Sauvignon Blanc, you would guess that this wine comes from New Zealand, but you would be wrong! Fern Walk is a new winery enterprise from Mission Hill Family Estate winery. Currently two wines are produced under this label; their 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Pinot Gris. I have been told that there are red wines on the way. The wines from Fern Walk are exclusive to BCLDB stores, which I have not heard of before. Usually you get wines from smaller wineries at private wine shops. Is this the start of a new trend for the BCLDB?
I was invited to a pre-release of these 2 wines, along with some other wine media, and to get our feedback. We sipped, chatted, and tasted the wines with canapes. My tasting notes are below for the two wines.
Fern Walk Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($16.99) – The grapes for this wine come from the Osoyoos region in the Okanagan valley that are sustainably farmed. The grapes were picked at different times so that the wine maker was able to get different flavour and aroma profiles from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The resulting wine was aged seven months in stainless steel. Lots of tropical fruit on the nose with a grassy note to it. Lighter bodied, nice acidic prickle on the tongue, mineral, with stone fruit, green fruit and citrus fruits. Overall a really nice wine. It went really well the seafood appetizers we were served. Recommended summer sipping and enjoying with the bounty of the sea. Rating
Fern Walk Pinot Gris 2014 ($16.99) – The grapes comes from two areas in the Okanagan Valley; the first being the Black Sage Bench (70% of the grapes), and the other is around Osoyoos (30% of the grapes). They note that the Black Sage Bench should offer some minerality to the wine, while the Osoyoos grapes would offer greater fruit flavours. Light stone fruit, in particular apricot, and honey nose. Medium body, dry, with medium plus acidity, and some minerality. Melon, apricot, and a hint of tropical fruit on the palate. Finishes off dry. Rating:
So head over to a BCLDB store near you and give these 2 wines a try before the summer is gone.
Fern Walk Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($16.99) -Citrus, stone fruits, in particular apricots, some lees, and a hint of honey on the nose. Slightly off-dry with above average acidity and flavour intensity. Medium mouth feel. Citrus, green fruit, lime and green apple flavours up front with peaches, pears, and grapefruit rind toward to the finish. Mouth watering acidity on the finish along with citrus and salty minerality.
Rating: Great fresh fruit flavours.
Fern Walk Pinot Gris 2014 ($16.99) – Medium pear skin colour. Clean, light, youthful aromas of flowers, peach, stone fruit and almond aromas. With some decanting the floweriness dissipates. Dry with bigger mouthfeel some some mouth filling roundness. Higher acidity with a light acidic prickle on the tongue. Peaches, pears, and Spartan apples, along with a hint of almonds. Some stoniness manifests toward the finish. On the finish you get mouth watering acidity and pepperiness. I would classify this wine as more texture and less fruit in the glass, and might fit in what you would say is an “Old World” style wine.
Rating: My rating for this wine is between 3.5 and 4 / 5 stars.
There are differences between tasting these wines with 4 additional months in the bottle. Wines with a screw cap do change over time. For the Sauvignon Blanc I originally noted lots of tropical fruit, yet in the second tasting, no tropical fruit was noted. For the Pinot Gris, there was more similarity in my tasting notes with the stone fruits and acidity. What is interesting, is that the winery noted that there should be minerality apparent in this wine, yet I did not get any in the original tasting. In the re-taste, I did get stoniness, or some would say minerality. Maybe the wine was originally tasted too soon after bottling and did not have a chance to settle down? It was interesting to notice though.