I was very excited when I received two bottles of the latest releases from Painted Rock recently to review. The two bottles being Painted Rock’s Syrah 2009 and their Merlot 2009. Every year, I hear great things about Painted Rock’s wines and read about awards they have won. Did you know that Painted Rock Estate Winery was ranked as the #1 Winery in BC and #3 Winery in Canada at the 2011 Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards? Their 2007 Red Icon and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon also won 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines.
What does the 2009 vintage have in store I wondered, as I held the two bottles in my hands?
Who Is Painted Rock?
Painted Rock is named for the pictographs that border their 60 acre property, located beside Skaha Lake in Penticton. The winery is a family run business, started with the purchase of their land in 2004. The owners, John and Trish Skinner planted their vines in 2005 and 2006 and now have roughly 25 acres under vine; all of it Bordeaux reds or Syrah, except for a block of Chardonnay. In the owners’ words:
“Painted Rock sits on a spectacular bench overlooking the eastern shore of Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. This 60-acre property has a unique microclimate that is particularly suited to the production of premium wines.
Envisioned as a family-run estate winery, Painted Rock draws its inspiration from proprietors John and Trish Skinner. The Skinner’s philosophy is rooted in the simple idea that wine should be made for friends and family to enjoy. With a dedication to quality and a respect for the terroir, Painted Rock ensures that each grape is of superior quality, proving that the best wines are made in the vineyard.”
My Wine Review
To do this review I opened each bottle and tasted the wines on two separate days to see if there was any change in aromas or flavours. Sometimes wines require some time in contact with air in order for them to “open” up and show more of their character. I as well did a fair amount of swirling the wines in my glass to help bring out the aromas and flavours. Both wines are produced from Estate grapes and the wines are VQA certified.
Painted Rock Merlot 2009. Deep garnet with a hint of ruby colour in the glass. Very aromatic. Just pouring this wine into my glass, brought out lots of aromas from this wine. Youthful nose and very pronounced, with jammy, sweet ripe fruit, including plums, blackberries, black cherry and dried fruits. There was also some sweet spice aromas of cinnamon, cloves, licorice and nutmeg. As you swirled the wine, a bit of perfume filled the glass and there was also a hint of blackberry leaf. The wine is dry with medium weight in your mouth, good acidity too, and medium plus tannins. On the palate I tasted black fruit, plums, blackberry and black cherry flavours. There was also some vanilla, oak and blackcurrant leaf. On Day 2 of my tasting I detected a bit of the perfume that I previously smelled on Day 1. The wine has a long finish with tartness on your tongue. A very good good that you could drink now, but I think give it 2 years to age softening the tannins and settling the acidity down a bit. A quality wine.
Painted Rock Syrah 2009. This wine is opaque ruby colour from core to rim. It has a very delicious aroma. Blueberries popped out for me. A very youthful nose with red and black fruit aromas, lots of vanilla and a bit of cloves. On Day 2 some additional cinnamon spice was detected. The first thing you notice upon sipping this wine is it’s soft mouth feel, like silk in your mouth, with very juicy ripe fruit flavours and a hint of smokiness. Medium body with medium plus acidity. Also flavours of red cherry, plum, and hints of cedar, pepper and oak. A long dry finish that leaves a lot of fruit lingering in your mouth. The acidity also gives you a bit of mouth watering on the finish. I really liked this wine and highly recommend it. Outstanding now but you can still age it and get more years of enjoyment.
Where Can I Get Painted Rock’s Wines?
Painted Rock’s wines are available in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario currently. If you are lucky enough to live in Vancouver, many restaurants carry Painted Rock. A few that you may recognize are:
- Blue Water Café
- Hawksworth Restaurant
- Le Gavroche
- Rain City Grill
- Seasons In The Park In Queen Elizabeth Park
- Wild Rice
If you are attending Dine Out Vancouver, one of these wines might be a good pairing!
To check the closest wine shop to you carrying Painted Rock’s wines, follow this link. Enjoy!