Black Hills Estate Winery produced one of the first iconic wines of BC, Nota Bene, a Left Bank Bordeaux red blend. Black Hills is known for producing quality wines. They are located on the Black Sage Road, 13 km north of Osoyoos in the South Okanagan. This area is hot and dry, and perfect to grow red Bordeaux grapes. The region gets more sunlight hours than Napa Valley during the growing season. I was pleased to read that they undertake sustainable, environmentally friendly farming and winemaking practices. The vines are hand pruned and manually maintained, and they have been awarded “Environmental Farm Plan Status” by the B.C. Environmental Farm Plan.
I received 3 of the new, or soon to be, released wines for me to review. I noticed that all three wines came in heavy bottles and had long, solid quality corks. From their website, it appears that the wines in the $20 range come under screwcap, and those in the ~$30+ range are under cork.
This is the first offering of their Pinot Noir 2017. The winemaker, Ross Wise, was inspired by the challenge of making wine from a new varietal. The Addendum has not been produced yearly. This is the first vintage since it was last made a few years ago. The Addendum is a Right Bank Bordeaux blend, using Okanagan Merlot (which I have been told by many people tends to be a bigger red than Cabernet Sauvignon in BC. Our special terroir?). A few people following my Instagram posts that live in the Okanagan, who drink Black Hills Estate wines, did not know about Addendum, and I know are eagerly waiting for my review.
My Review of Black Hills Estate Winery Wines
Black Hills Estate Winery Chardonnay 2017 ($29.90++) – Medium plus intensity bright lemon in colour. A medium intensity aromatic nose showing deep ripe aromas of tropical fruit mainly, followed by lesser amounts of ripe pears, butterscotch and oak. With a bit of swirling in the glass, you get buttered popcorn and pineapple aromas. The wine is dry, very round with a thicker mouthfeel. Rich, deep fruit flavours; ripe pineapple, baked apple and pears. Some butterscotch and light oak. Buttery mouthfeel. Medium plus length finishing with light pepperiness, ripe pineapple, butterscotch, and some oak. Very good quality. I can see this wine ageing nicely for the next 4-5 years or more. Decanting this wine made no difference.
Rating: A solid very good quality Chardonnay. Mostly ripe rich pineapple and pear aromas and flavours, with a thicker rich mouthfeel.
Black Hills Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2017 ($39.90++) – Medium translucent garnet from rim to core. The wine has a light red fruit nose, along with red cherries and a hint of oak. Not overly aromatic, but what the nose betrays the mouth experiences abundantly. The wine is very flavourful, with lots of floral and bright red fruit flavours. The wine is dry, semi-round, with medium acidity and medium fine tannins that give the wine a good structure. Light touches of raspberry, red currants, candied cherries, vanilla and oak. The wine has a medium plus length finishing with tart red fruit, firmer tannins, and light oak and vanilla. I’d characterize this Pinot as more masculine than feminine. With decanting there is some light bramble on the nose, otherwise, the flavours stay about the same, so no need to decant this wine.
Rating: A light red fruit nose, that leads to an expressive floral and red fruit flavoured wine with fine tannins.
Black Hills Estate Winery Addendum 2017 ($49.90++) – This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is about 99% opaque ruby with a tinge of garnet colour. A light intensity nose with ripe dark fruit and vanilla aromas, and a hint of cedar. With decanting you also get vanilla, oak and a tinge of orange peel. The wine is Dryish, round, fuller bodied with a silky mouthfeel. Medium fine tannins that gives some structure to the wine, but could do with a smidge more. Ripe black fruit flavours mostly, but also blackberries, some roses, and light touches of cloves, roses, cedar, pepperiness, vanilla, and oak. With decanting I also picked up on some orange peel and dark chocolate flavours. The oak is also stronger day two and the tannins firmer. The wine has a longer length finishing with light pepperiness, a sweet edge, black fruit, oak and vanilla flavours. With decanting as mentioned the tannins finish firmer, and you get a cedar note. I think this wine is better enjoyed with some decanting. This wine can age a bit; give it 2-4 years.
Rating: with decanting. A fuller bodied red blend with dark fruit flavours mainly, but has touches of cedar, vanilla, floral and cloves. Silky mouthfeel.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
The Addendum is available only available to Club members, so join the Club! Here is their list of wines currently available for order online from their website. Some Black Hills wines are available through BC Liquor stores. I also see a selection of their wines at Everything Wine. Enjoy.