The last drops of BC Pinot Noir have crossed my lips, and their wine story has passed to my fingers then notes on paper, and finally this digital review for you. It has been quite an interesting experience to try all these BC Pinot Noirs, noting all the different flavours and aromas. Of course there are common flavours and aromas, but my next step, aggregating the flavour and aroma profiles to vineyard and soil type will hopefully reveal some interesting results, just as happened with my BC Riesling Review last year. Enjoy reading through these final reviews, and if any sound tasty to you, please drop by your nearest wine shop, or contact the winery directly to buy some wine.
BC Pinot Noir Reviews
Seven Directions Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose, 2015. Pale salmon in colour. A very fruity, sweet nose. Aromas of red fruits, strawberries, and candied red fruit. It is dry with higher acidity, that bites a bit on your tongue. It is dry with medium body. Sweet flavours because it is quite fruity, but it is dry. Red fruit, strawberry and candied fruit flavours. Peppery from mid palate to the finish. Medium plus length, with mouth-watering acidity and pepperiness, together with strawberry fruit. A bit hot on the finish.
Rating: Bright red fruit in this rose with higher acidity and some pepperiness.
Seven Directions Kalala Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose, 2015. Light strawberry juice colour in the glass. It has medium intensity aromas, with rhubarb, red cherry, red currant, and strawberry fruits. There is also some leafiness and a sweet fruity note. On the palate it is dry to off dry, with medium body. Medium plus body and flavour intensity. Acidic prickle on the tongue along with some salty minerality with decanting. Rhubarb, red fruit, red currant and strawberry, along with red cherries. With decanting the red cherry component decreases, but the wine still stays very fruity. Medium plus length with mouth-watering acidity, pepper, and tart red fruit on the finish. The pepperiness diminishes with decanting.
Rating: A rose with character. Decant or not, it tastes great.
Arrowleaf Pinot Noir 2014. Very translucent, almost pale garnet in colour. Medium plus, fruit forward nose, together with prominent smokiness. Sweet raspberries, red fruit, nutmeg, light vanilla and dried herb. With decanting you get a more strawberry nose. Dry with medium mouth feel and some roundness. Slightly sweet entry. Red cherry, red fruit, and rose, with hints of perfume, cloves, leafiness and smoke. With decanting the cloves and smokiness disappeared. Medium plus length, with medium acidity, red fruit, some leafiness and light black pepper on the finish. With decanting you also get some vanilla and the rose component becomes more obvious Another really enjoyable wine.
Rating: A very pretty Pinot Noir.
Arrowleaf Solstice Pinot Noir 2014. Medium minus mix of ruby and garnet colours. Translucent to the core. Medium intensity, with developing aromas of earth, chocolate and dried herb. Red fruit, in particular raspberry, dried fruits,and red cherry fruit aromas. Some perfume, nutmeg, white pepper and sweet spices as well on the nose. Good mouth feel with roundness on the palate. This wine is dry with medium acidity, tannins, alcohol, body and flavour intensity. It has red fruit, raspberry and strawberry, dried fruit and red cherry fruit flavours. There is also perfume and a hint of nutmeg and early. Also detected some mineral saltiness. There was a slight harshness on the palate. Medium plus length, with riper red fruits and some bitterness. With decanting you get less minerality and more dried fruit character. Decanting benefits this wine.
Gehringer Brothers Optimum Pinot Noir 2014. Deeper coloured; ruby with a garnet tint. Still semi-transparent. Medium plus nose with developing aromas. A slight leafy note that is pleasant, along with some floral notes. Light match stick, ripe red fruits, strawberries, vanilla, light sweet spices, in particular nutmeg. The aromas are well integrated and make it hard to separate out the individual components. Between dry and off dry, this wine has a silky smooth mouth feel. Big and round. Lower acidity and tannins, with medium alcohol, and medium plus body and flavour intensity. It does have a slightly sweet entry. Red fruits, perfume, roses, vanilla, sweet spices, and a hint of chocolate. Medium plus length, that finishes with light acidity, dark fruit, cinnamon and light pepperiness.
Rating: A dense, intriguing wine, with deep, ripe fruit aromas and flavours.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Quill Pinot Noir 2014. Medium garnet, almost in the pale category, in colour. It has a youthful nose, with very fragrant red fruit aromas, including ripe raspberries and red cherries. There are also hints of cedar, cloves, sweet spices, vanilla and candied fruit on the nose. With decanting the aromas are lessened, but the with wine does pick up a perfumed note. The wine is dry, with medium tannins and body, but medium plus acidity and flavour intensity. Bright red fruit flavours due to the higher acidity. It does have a light mouth feel; not quite round, but not tannic either. The fruit flavours dance on your tongue. Along with the fruit flavours there is also vanilla, oak, and hints of violets, cedar, earth and sweet spices. With decanting, raspberry fruit flavour becomes more prominent; you also get some raspberry leaf and a hint of smoke. The cedar and earthy components disappear with decanting. Medium plus length, with mouth-watering acidity, tart red fruit, oak, and black pepper. The tannins get stronger with decanting.
Rating: A very good quality, tasty, light bodied Pinot Noir with bright red fruit flavours.
Hillside Estate Pinot Noir 2012. Deep ruby with a dash of garnet colour in the glass. Medium, youthful aroma, with a ripe, sweet, fruity nose. Plum, black cherry, perfume, cedar, nutmeg, and hints of other sweet spices, milk chocolate and dried cherries. Dry with medium minus, acidity, tannins, and alcohol. Medium body and flavour intensity. Medium mouth feel that is quite smooth. Ripe plums, black cherry, perfume and light sweet spice on the palate. The wine has a slightly shorter length. The flavour falls off a bit too quickly. There was no significant change with decanting.
Tantalus Pinot Noir 2013. Medium plus garnet in colour. It is a very nice colour, that gets close to opaque but is still translucent to the core. It has medium plus intensity aroma with ripe, dark raspberries and blackberries, along with red fruit, black cherry, sweet spice, and some perfume. There are also hints of smoke and chocolate. The wine is dry with firm, ripe tannins. Full mouth feel that is very round. Medium plus body and flavour intensity. Red and black fruits, blackberries, red & black cherries, together with blueberries and plums. I detected a hint of acetone on the palate, but it was pleasant. There is also fragrant rose and light chocolate. Medium plus length. Light pepperiness/heat on the finish, together with mouth-watering acidity, firmer tannins, red cherries and plums. I really enjoyed this wine.
Rating: Layers of fruit aromas and flavours in this Pinot Noir. Enticing dark fruit flavours mingled with the red fruits.
Tantalus Juveniles Pinot Noir 2014. The younger sibling to their Tantalus Pinot Noir, this wine is meant to be youthful and approachable. It is a paler garnet in colour, with light, youthful aromas. You get a brief whiff of baby powder,and then the aromas of red cherries, red fruit, vanilla, and a hint of nutmeg. It’s dry with a lighter mouth feel, and a light acidic prickle on the tongue. The acidity is medium plus, and it has lower tannins and alcohol. Medium bodied and flavour intensity. You get red fruit, red currants, red cherries, and then some perfume behind the fruit. Also a hint of oak. The length is medium to medium minus. It would be nice if the length was a bit longer. Firmer tannins on the finish, together with bright acidity, showing off tart red cherries, and some pepperiness.
Rating: A light, red fruit, straight forward Pinot Noir to enjoy with a meal.
Upper Bench Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2013. Deep garnet, but still translucent to the core. Pronounced aromas in the glass of plums, black and red fruits, cherries, and vanilla. There is also a cedar component in the background. With decanting you get an intoxicating fruit aroma; intense red cherry, together with more pronounced cedar, and a whiff of tea leaves. The wine is dry with medium minus mouth feel. It is very round. Red cherries, black fruit and ripe plums flavours, together with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, cedar and chocolate on the palate. With decanting you get more sweet spice flavour, a bigger mouth feel, and more fruit. The wine has a medium length, with firmer tannins, some chocolate, pepper and bitterness. It would be nice if the finish lasted a wee bit longer. With decanting though, the length does stretch out.
Rating: A very good quality, fruit forward, very aromatic Pinot Noir that shows its best with decanting. Recommended.
Thornhaven Estates Pinot Noir 2013. Medium garnet coloured, translucent to the core with a barely noticeable bricking on the rim. It has a medium intensity nose with light matchstick, barnyard,and red fruit aromas. There is a hint of vanilla, sweet spices, and violets with decanting. This wine is dry with medium acidity, tannins, and body. It has a round, fuller mouth feel, but it becomes lighter and thinner with decanting. You get red fruit, raspberry, red cherry, perfume and some leafiness, together with some salty minerality. With decanting I also picked up a cranberry note. The wine has medium length, with mostly a tart red fruit finish, but the flavour diminishes really quite quickly.
Thornhaven Estates Pinot Noir 2012. Medium plus garnet in colour. Medium intensity nose with a mix of youthful and developing aromas of red fruit, red currant, red cherry, plum, sweet spice, perfume and a hint of candy. The wine is dry with medium acidity, tannins, alcohol, body and flavour intensity. The wine is quite round and supple. The tannins pick up on the mid palate toward the finish. Red fruit, in particular red currant, along with raspberry, plum, and a hint of pepper. Medium length with firmer tannins. The flavour falls off a bit too quickly on the finish. With decanting the nose has opened up a bit, and the tannins are a bit softer.
Rating: A straight forward, uncomplicated Pinot Noir.
Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2014. Fairly deep garnet in colour, yet still translucent to the core. It has deep, rich aromas, of red fruit, black fruit and red cherries, together with hints of violets, blueberry, vanilla and toast. With decanting you get more red cherry aroma, and less of violets and blueberry. Some smokiness and cinnamon became apparent with decanting. The wine is dry, with a very light mouth feel, and is more angular than round. The wine shows sour / tart red fruit and tart red cherries. You also get a bit of vanilla and oak. Decanting does not change the flavours, but does add some sweet spices. The wine has a medium length, and finishes with drying, firmer tannins, and a mix of pepperiness and sourness. Red cherry fruit flavour and vanilla on the finish. With all the tart fruit flavours in this wine, you should pair it with food, such as a turkey dinner, where the tartness would be similar to cranberry sauce with the meal.
Rating: A good quality wine that I think is better to enjoy without decanting.
Quails’ Gate Richard’s Block Pinot Noir 2013. This is a very limited production Pinot Noir from Quails’ Gate and I very much appreciate being given it for this study. Only 8 barrels are produced of this wine. The wine is dedicated to their father, Richard, who purchased the original vineyard in 1956. All of the fruit was sourced from two established blocks of Pinot Noir on their Estate featuring 667, 117 and 115 clones as old as 24 years. The wine is deep garnet with a ruby tint. It is almost opaque in the glass. It has a lighter intensity nose, but very deep integrated, ripe dark fruit aromas. A mix of red and black fruits, together with vanilla and a hint of sweet spice. The wine is dry, with a heavier mouth feel. Smooth and round with firmer tannins. Ripe dark fruits, plums, ripe raspberries, blueberries and black currants, together with hints of vanilla, violets, sweet spice and chocolate. Decanting adds some black cherry flavour as well. The wine has a medium length with firmer tannic finish. A mix of tart red fruit and some black fruit on the finish, along with light pepperiness, then at the very end you get red cherries and vanilla.
Rating: A very good quality wine that can age several years. Dense, dark aromas and flavours, with a nice mix of fruits on the palate.
Niche Wine Co Rose 2015. This rose is a pale, orangy rhubarb colour in the glass. Medium intensity youthful nose that shows sweet red fruit and strawberries in particular, together with a hint of some leafiness. Off-dry, round and soft, with medium mouth feel. Medium plus acidity. A mix of tart red fruit, candied red fruit and strawberries, along with some leafiness. The wine has a medium plus length with the tart red fruit and strawberries continuing to the finish. You also get some pepperiness on the finish, and some light tannins, which give this wine a bit of structure.
Rating: A nice straight forward rose wine that gives you fresh red fruit and in particular strawberries. A grilled salmon steak would be a nice pairing.