BC’s father daughter team of Harry McWatters and Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond have collaborated to produce two lines of wine lately; Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection. For me Evolve Cellar’s wines are meant to be young and fresh and easy to drink, while McWatters Collection has more structured wines that you can put in your cellar for many years and enjoy. I received a few new releases from these wineries to review. A Chardonnay from McWatters Collection, and a Viognier, Shiraz, and Cabernet Shiraz blend from Evolve Cellars. I think over time the wine makers for each of these relatively new wineries are finding their feet in the vines, and are translating that into quality wines. The Evolve Cellars wines all rate in the – range, while the McWatters Collection wine rates – for me. Below are the full details.
My Tasting Notes
Evolve Cellars Viognier 2016 ($16.99) – Pale bright straw colour in the glass. Medium plus intensity fruity nose; a blend of orange, lychee, grapefruit and peach, plus some sweet blossom. With decanting this wine also starts to show some apple aromas too. It is dry, round, and smooth with lower acidity and mouth filling feeling. It starts with medium intensity stone fruits, in particular peach, up front, then adds citrus toward the finish. There is a bit of minerality to this wine. With decanting I picked up some flowers on the palate as well. Medium plus length with a mix of some bitter rind, leafiness, tart fruit, and pepperiness. Decanting for a while helps bring out the intensity of flavour in this wine as well as brings out a bit more aromas.
Rating with decanting. Overall medium intensity stone fruit flavours, and equal if not more round and smooth mouth feel.
Evolve Cellars Shiraz 2016 ($19.99) – Deep ruby colour, but still translucent at the core. Quite a pronounced, youthful nose, with a mix of lees, ripe raspberries and blackberries, bramble, and cassis fruits, along with hints of earthiness, violets and oak. Decanting adds some smoky aromas. The wine is dry, medium plus body, semi-round with flavours of raspberries, blackberries and other black fruits, plums, bramble, black pepper and a light touch of oak. Generally this wine is quite fruity flavoured. It has a medium length, finishing with flavours of black cherries and other black fruits, along with some bitterness and pepperiness. Decanting or not, did not seem to make a difference for this wine, so feel free to enjoy as soon as you open it.
Rating: – Overall a solid, smooth berry and dark fruit wine.
Evolve Cellars Elevate Cabernet Shiraz 2016 ($30) – This wine has a bit more structure and finesse compared to its related Shiraz wine. This wine is almost opaque ruby in the glass. A really enjoyable, medium intensity nose, with aromas of vanilla, baby powder, flowers, sweet red cherries and plus, with a hint of nutmeg. Swirl this wine and enjoy the sniff. The wine is almost dry, feel softer and round in the mouth, but interestingly has to me more of an acidic backbone than tannic one. Upon first opening you get a bit of an acidic prickle on the tongue, but that fades with decanting. Flavours of black cherries, red plums, red fruits; a hint of violets, and light touch of oak. Medium plus length finishing dry, with tart red fruit, some bitterness / dark chocolate, and black cherry flavours. With decanting the aromas and flavours did not change much, but the acidity seemed to go down a bit, and there was a hint on capsicum on the finish. So decanting or not does not matter too much.
Rating: – Really enjoyable nose on this wine mixing vanilla, fruit and floral, followed by solid red fruits and good acidity to give this wine structure.
McWatters Collection Chardonnay 2016 ($24.99) – This wine comes from grapes on the Black Sage Bench in Oliver. The wine was barrel fermented and aged for 9 months in French oak, 30% new) and had regular battonage to add mouth feel. This wine is medium, bright lemon colour. It has a medium intensity, youthful nose, with aromas of vanilla, tropical fruit, sweet oak and white flowers. Another wine I really enjoyed to linger over the aromas. It is dry and round with a lighter mouth feel. With decanting there was more texture to the wine. Flavours of tropical fruit mainly, some pears, along with vanilla and oak. Also a light touch of honey. Good acidity to the wine to balance out the fruit in this wine. With decanting you also get butterscotch flavour from the mid palate to the finish. Also with decanting you get a slightly longer finish. On the finish the wine has some tartness and oak. For the full benefit of this wine, I recommend decanting. Should be a nice wine for an upcoming holiday dinner.
Rating: – with decanting. Good quality, understated wine that shows off vanilla and tropical fruit aromas and flavours.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase Evolve Cellars wines through this link. The wines are also available at many retailers. The list of retailers are at this link.
You can purchase McWatters Collections wines through this link.