A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to interview Ezra Cipes, CEO of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located in Kelowna, BC. One of the things Ezra told me about was a new line of BC VQA wines that they are producing called “Alive“, making both a red and a white wine. The wine labels really look alive too with pictures of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices. The labels really entice you to drink them.
These wines are certified organic, and in addition apply biodynamic preparations to the soil to “…aid in fertilization and prevent plant diseases. They have influence on soil structure and micro-organisms, enhancing soil fertility and increasing biodiversity. Components used in making preparations include yarrow, horsetail, stinging nettle, dandelion, oak bark, Valerian, and quartz crystal…” as described on the back label of both wines. Ezra offered to send me a bottle of each wine to taste and review, which brings me to today’s blog. Click on this link if you would like to read my interview with Ezra Cipes.
My Tasting Notes
ALIVE Organic White 2011 ($19.95). This wine is a blend of 87% Pinot Gris, 10% Gewurztraminer, and 3% Riesling, and fermented in 100% stainless steel. All three of these are aromatic varieties of grapes, and this wine is full of fresh fruit aroma and flavour. The wine had a pale pear skin colour in the glass. It had a light youthful nose, with pineapple, lemon, stone fruit, blossom, and a hint of yeast. Off dry, it had low acidity, and was soft and round in the mouth; almost buttery. Lots of pear flavour, with lesser amounts of peach, topical fruit, a hint of orange and some peach pit. There was also a bit of an acidic prickle on the tongue. The acidity left your mouth watering. Very fresh and fruity, and easy to drink.
ALIVE Organic Red 2009 ($24.95). This wine is a blend of 83% Marechal Foch, 13% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is 100% barrel aged. It was a deep ruby in colour, and very aromatic. You get youthful with developing fruit flavours of red and black fruit, plums and red currant. There was also some cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla spice on those and a hint of tobacco. This wine is fermented dry, but has a bit of roundness on the palate. Medium acidity and tannins. I enjoyed the flavours of this wine. They were quite complex to me. There were flavours of black fruit, red cherry, dark plum, red currant, and I think a bit of fig. Vanilla spice on the mid palate, tobacco, and a hint of cinnamon. Then on the finish you get dark chocolate, vanilla, and some black currant leaf. This wine is ready to drink now, but you can age it. I suggest a year at the most. A really enjoyable wine, and as with the white wine, fresh with good fruit.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery in it’s support of the environment is currently offering that ONE DOLLAR from every bottle of ALIVE wine bottle sold is donated to the David Suzuki Foundation (www.davidsuzuki.org).
What to Pair With These Wines?
With the round, aromatic fruitiness of the Organic White, I’d not hesitate to recommend seafood; steamed shellfish, grilled fish like halibut or maybe sable fish. Grilled or roasted chicken with citrus or herbal notes, such as in a Greek style.
The Organic Red is quite full bodied, with lots of fruit flavours, so can stand up for very flavourful dishes, such as a grilled steak or lamb, pasta in a tomato sauce, or some aged cheese.
OR as Summerhill Winery says “Pair with Life“. Enjoy!