Moving Up a Tier With Mission Hill Wines – Reserve Level Tasting

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

In my previous article on two sub $20 bottles of Cabernet Merlot blends from Mission Hill, I introduced you to the “intro” level of their wines, 5 Vineyards, and an alternate label, Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery.  I noted that there are higher level tiers to Mission Hill’s wines.  Moving up one level we have the “Reserve” Series.  I was fortunate to get a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon and their Pinot Noir.  There are 4 tiers above this:

  • Select Lot Collection (S.L.C.)
  • Martin’s Lane
  • Terroir Collection
  • Legacy Collection

You can read about each of these tiers at this link on the Mission Hill website.  When I worked in the past, part-time, at one of Mission Hill’s Artisan Wine Shops we had the 5 Vineyards, Ganton & Larsen, Reserve, and SLC wines for sale.  There were great values in all of these wine levels.  The Reserve and SLC are nice to take to a friend’s dinner or as a gift, or to enjoy with your family.  When I received the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir I was very excited to try them and let you read my tasting notes.  According to the Mission Hill website, Reserve wines are “Hand-selecting the blocks of grapes, extreme viticulture management, longer barrel time, more lees stirring, all this and more is expressed in our Reserve wines.”

My Wine Review

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 ($24.49 + taxes) – Translucent to the core, garnet with light bricking throughout.  Youthful, medium intensity nose with aromas of tea leaves, nutmeg, red cherries and smoky raspberries.  Quite a pretty nose.  Dry, soft, with some roundness.  There is a nice salty minerality that runs through this wine.  The flavours of the wine are all very soft and elegant.  You get red fruit, tea leaves, red cherries, raspberries, sweet spice and oak, and a hint of flowers.  Light, red cherries and smoky oak, together with some spiciness on the finish.  Recommended!
Rating: 4.5 Stars  A very elegant wine that is wonderful to drink right now, but probably would also be equally tasty over the next 2-3 years.  Enjoy with roasted pork belly with crackling, roast quail, or Gruyere and Brie.

Mission Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($23.49 + taxes) – Opaque ruby and garnet coloured.  The nose is quite light and closed.  I almost thought it was a corked bottle, but it has lots of flavour on the palate, so maybe the wine is in a bit quiet at the moment.  On the nose, although very light, I was able to get some dark cherries, ripe cassis, vanilla, cedar and cinnamon.  The wine is dry, full bodied and round, with ripe juicy cassis, juicy raspberries and plums, with light vanilla.  Fine, medium intensity tannins.  With decanting, you get a hint of perfume, some oak, and the appearance of some salty minerality.  Medium length with firmer tannins on the finish.  The finish lasts longer if you do decant this wine.
Rating: 4 Stars  A bit closed on the nose at the moment, but full of ripe, juicy cassis, raspberries and plums on the palate. Enjoy with a sliced Spanish chorizo and manchego cheese plate.

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 in glasses

Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 in glasses

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can buy these wines in BC liquor stores, as well as at Artisan Wine Shops, Everything Wine, and at the Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Some people prefer red wines. Some only like Cabernet Sauvignon. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I met many great wine makers. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

2 comments for “Moving Up a Tier With Mission Hill Wines – Reserve Level Tasting

  1. January 11, 2016 at 8:44 am

    How long did the Cabernet take to open up?
    I love when a wine takes a few days to open up. I get to check it for a few days to see how it develops. Recently, I had a wine from Spain (under $20) that tasted its best after 3 days! It was amazing… Gems can be found if you’ve got patience. 🙂

    • January 11, 2016 at 10:31 am

      I tried the Cab over 2 days. The nose was still closed. It opened up a bit on day 2, but then was completely consumed. So I can’t give you any feedback for 3+ days of opening up. The wine was full flavoured on the palate from initial opening. I do taste all the wines I review 2-3 times over 2-3 days. It is fascinating to find wines that get better over time. Goes against what many people think about not letting oxygen touch the wine after they open the bottle.

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