Want to Try Grape and Blueberry Wine from Monte Creek Ranch?

Monte Creek Ranch logoThe 2015 vintage was the hottest in years in BC, and recorded the earliest grape harvest of all time.  The heat helped fully ripen the grapes, and produce full-bodied, ripe red wines in the Okanagan, and also the Kamloops region, where we find Monte Creek Ranch.  The winery is still relatively new, with their vineyards planted in 2009.  Learning about their terroir and how the grapes respond takes time.  From my past reviews I see that my ratings are increasing, which is a good thing.  The wine maker is finding out the best ways to ferment and age their wines.  Besides grape-based wines, Monte Creek Ranch also produces a Blueberry wine.  This is the first time for me to taste their blueberry wine, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Below are my tasting notes for 5 of their new wine releases.

My Tasting Notes

Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay 2015 (Winery price $16.99) – Medium lemon with a green tint in colour. Medium intensity nose, showing lees vanilla, white flowers, sweet, ripe tropical fruit, and later with some air, melon.  The wine is dry, lighter bodied and light mouth feel. There is some roundness to the wine.  It has flavours of apple, peach and other stone fruit, and some green fruits too.  There is also a hint of leafiness.  Light toastiness in the background.  With decanting, tropical fruit and green fruit are more apparent, and less stone fruit.  Medium length with pepper, tart citrus and some citrus rind.  With decanting, the wine does have a thicker mouth feel.

Rating: 3.5 Stars  A straight forward Chardonnay with stone fruit trending to tropical fruit flavours.  Enjoy with light flavoured cuisine.

Monte Creek Ranch Foch 2015 (Winery price $18.49) – a blend of 86% Foch and 14% Merlot.  Foch is short for Marechal Foch, a French hybrid combining a riparia-rupestris grape with the vinifera variety Goldriesling, which in itself is a cross between Riesling and Courtiller Musque.  It is cold weather resistant, and is primarily grown in North America.  Very deep ruby in colour; solid to the core.  Medium intensity nose, with ripe plums and raspberry fruits, together with toast, smoke, sweet spices, and a hint of meat and vanilla. The non-fruit flavours lessen with decanting. Dry and round with higher acidity.  Medium to medium plus mouth feel.  Tart cherries, plums and ripe purple fruit, with charcoal/toast behind.  The wine does have a wildness, or some may say foxy character to it.  I initially picked it up as bramble.  It has a medium length, finishing with tart fruit, pepperiness, light tannins, and a hint of perfume.

Rating: 3.5 Stars An easy drinking, simple wine that has ripe fruit flavours, together with toast and some foxy character.

Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay and Foch wines

Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay and Foch wines

Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red 2015 (Winery price $16.49) – A blend of 36% Merlot, 23% Marquette, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Frontenac Noir, and 6% Cabernet Franc.  Marquette and Frontenac Noir may not be varieties you are familiar with, as they are newer hybrids, created by the University of Minnesota to withstand cold climates.  This wine is deep ruby-red in colour.  It has medium plus intensity nose with aromas of ripe red fruit, cassis, and smokiness.  With decanting plums and spiciness became more evident.  The wine is dry and round with medium tannins and medium plus acidity.  Smoky with black fruit, ripe plums, blackberry and black cherry flavours.  There is light oak in the background and a hint of leather.  It has medium length, that falls off a bit too quickly.  Smoky finish, along with tart fruit and pepperiness.  Soft tannins.

Rating: 4 Stars An all-round red for most full-bodied meat, or grilled meat, dishes.

Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014 (Winery price $29.99) – This wine is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon along with 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.  It is garnet in colour with a ruby tine. The 1% Cab Franc makes itself known with cedar on the nose.  You also get ripe plums, oak and vanilla aromas.  A pretty, elegant nose.  The wine is dry, but very round, silky, and a thick mouth feel.  You get ripe black fruit, plums, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours.  Bright acidity makes the fruit flavours pop.  There is also a hint of cloves and light oak treatment.  With decanting the cedar aroma from the Cab Franc also comes out.  Medium length, with cedar, vanilla, and ripe black fruit at the end.  Medium drying tannins.

Rating: 4.5 Stars  A very good quality wine with big ripe and round dark fruit and plum flavour, with a dash of cedar for finesse.

Monte Creek Ranch Blueberry Wine NV (Winery price $15.99) – It is not often I try non-grape wine.  I was curious to find out how this blueberry wine would taste.  It does have a nice medium ruby colour to it, and it is translucent from core to rim.  On the nose it smells of blueberries, but along with a floral and either a minty or green leaf component.  On the palate it tastes dry and have medium plus acidity.  Light bodied, with a light acidic prickle on the tongue.  You get primarily blueberry flavour, but it almost morphs into a lychee flavour as well.  Compared to the grape wines that have between 0.8-2.7 grams of residual sugar, the blueberry wine comes in at 18 grams of residual sugar, but the level of acidity balances it out, and the wine does taste dry.  It has a longer length with blueberry and some bitter leaf on the finish.  Overall it is a delicate red wine.  I may want to try this with roast game, like venison, or maybe some pate.

Rating: 4 Stars Overall a delicate red wine, that provides you with blueberry flavour that has a lychee edge to it.  Try with roast game, like venison, or pate.

Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and Blueberry wines

Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and Blueberry wines

Where Can I Get These Wines?

Monte Creek Ranch does offer sales of their wines through their Buy Wine web page.  If you live in the lower mainland or the Fraser Valley, the list below shows all the shops that carry Monte Creek Ranch’s wines:

  • VQA Sumas Mountain Wines
  • Whatcom Wine & Spirits
  • Hot Springs Liquor Store
  • Aldergrove Liquor Store
  • Bainbridge Liquor Store
  • Bottle Jockey – Burnaby
  • Great Bear Beer & Wine
  • Hop & Vine Liquor Store
  • VQA Kensington Wines
  • Garrison Wine & Liquor Store
  • Boulevard Casino
  • John B Beer and Wine Store
  • Roo’s Private LIquor Store
  • VQA Westwood Wines
  • Woody’s Beer and WIne Store
  • Ladner’s Landing B&W
  • River House Pub
  • Speed’s Liquor Store
  • Sunshine Hills LRS
  • VQA Mud Bay Wines
  • Beatnicks Bistro
  • Berezan Liquor & Beer Store Langley
  • Jimy Mac’s Wine and Beer Store
  • Langley Liquor Store
  • Murrayville BW Store
  • Sharks Beer and Wine Store-langley
  • Town Centre Liquor Store
  • VQA Wine Emporium
  • Willoughby Liquor Store
  • Black Sheep Liquor Store
  • Firefly Fine Wines & Ales Ltd
  • Fox’s Reach Liquor Store
  • Haney Hotel Liquor Store
  • Maple Ridge Liquor Store
  • Office Liquor Store
  • Outpost Liquor Store
  • Witch of Endor Beer & Wine Store
  • City Hall Liquor Store
  • Mission Springs Beer & Wine
  • Sisto River LRS
  • Luckys Liquor Store
  • 8th Street LRS
  • Pacific Liquor Store – New Westminster
  • Spirits of Mt. Seymour
  • VQA Edgemont Village Wine
  • Firehall Bistro
  • Pitt Meadows Beer & Wine Store
  • Arms Liquor Store
  • Gillnetter Pub Liquor Store
  • Select Liquor Store
  • Port Moody Liquor Store
  • Bridgeport Liquor Store
  • Fogg N Sudds YVR
  • Malones Liquor Store
  • Pioneer Beer & Wine Store
  • River Rock Casino Resort
  • Tugboat Annie’s Pub
  • VQA Sip Wines
  • West Coast Liquor Co YVR
  • Brewsters Liquor Store
  • Central City Brewing Company
  • Citrus Pub & Grill
  • Clayton Liquor Store
  • Cloverdale Station Liquor Store
  • Guildford Station Beer and Wine
  • Pacific Liquor Store – Fleetwood
  • Robin Hood Liquor Store
  • Samz Liquor Store
  • Tudor LRS
  • VQA Price Smart Foods Int
  • VQA Save On Foods South Point
  • VQA Swirl White Rock
  • Waterstone Lounge LRS (Berezan)
  • Liquor Quicker
  • Caffe Barney
  • Eldorado B & W
  • Granville Island Hotel (Dockside Rest)
  • Hastings Liquor Store
  • Jimmys Cold Beer & Wine Store
  • Kitsalano Liquor Store
  • Legacy Liquor Store
  • Lennox Liquor Store
  • Liberty Wine Merchants
  • Pacific Spirits Wine Cellar
  • Sheraton Vancouver Fine Spirits
  • Speakeasy on Broadway
  • St Regis Fine Wine & Spirits
  • Value On Liquor Store
  • Viti Wine & Lagers
  • VQA Swirl Yaletown
  • VQA Village Wines – Kitsilano
  • VQA Village Wines Dunbar
  • West End Liquor Store
  • Westin Grand Hotel
  • Winking Judge Pub
  • 16th Street Liquor Store
  • Whiterock Liquor Store
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.

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