Do you know where Lake Country is in BC? Most people probably don’t, but it is just a short drive north of Kelowna. One of the first wineries in BC, Gray Monk Estate Winery, was established in Lake Country.
Other Lake Country wineries are 50th Parallel Estate, Arrowleaf Cellars, Intrigue Wines, and Ex Nihilo Vineyards. I was recently in the Okanagan and decided it was time to visit a few of these wineries. Specifically I had time to visit Gray Monk, 50th Parallel Estate, and Arrowleaf. Below are a few of my favourite wines from each of these wineries. In addition, I would like to add how much I enjoyed having lunch on the patio at Gray Monk. I had their special Beef brochette salad with sliced apricots. It was outstanding, and the patio overlooking Okanagan Lake was very scenic.
My Wine Picks
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Gris 2014 ($19) – Light stone fruit nose with a hint of sweet spice. Fuller bodied, round, with ripe stone fruit. Quite peppery. Super juicy BC Okanagan fruit. Medium mouth-watering acidity on the finish Rating:
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2012 ($32) – Lots of violets and cherries on the nose. Medium body with lots of violets and red cherries in the palate. Dry, with fine, medium minus tannins. A very quiet finish that fades away. Rating:
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2013 ($32) – For the 2013 vintage, a new additional block with a different Pinot Noir clone was added. This wine was a bit deeper garnet in colour compared to the 2012 vintage. Darker, riper cherry and sweet spice on the nose. Dry, medium body and medium tannins, with sweet ripe red fruit and light vanilla. Medium plus acidity becomes more apparent at mid palate, together with sweet spice. Medium length and mouth watering puckering acidity on the finish. Between these 2 Pinots, I would say that the 2012 was more feminine in style, while the 2013 is more masculine. Rating:
Gray Monk Pinot Gris 2014 ($15.69) – Nice stone fruit and orange on the nose. Dry with higher acidity. Ripe stone fruit and tropical fruit flavour, together with lots of black pepper. Medium acidity on the finish. Very fresh fruit flavour. Rating:
Gray Monk Cabernet Merlot 2012 ($17.39) – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (40%), and Cabernet Franc (20%). Deeper garnet, but still translucent to the core. Lighter intensity nose with aromas of ripe cherries, baking spices, and vanilla. Medium body, soft with almost velvety feel. Ripe red and black cherries, a mix of other red fruit, sweet spices and vanilla. Cedar and pepperiness on the finish. A really enjoyable red with each of the grape varieties adding their flavour components. Rating:
Arrowleaf Cellars Pinot Gris 2014 ($14.74+tax) – Nice, vibrant fruit stone fruit aromas. Off dry, with slight acidic prickle on the tongue. Stone fruit and tropical fruit flavour, with a mineral streak and sweet spices. With some air, you get some herbal flavours. Honey on the finish. Rating:
Arrowleaf Cellars Solstice Reserve 2012 – Merlot 80% and Zweigelt 20% make up this blend. Raspberries and chocolate on the nose. Mineral with floral, roses and cherries on the palate. Medium minus tannins. Later on you also get a bit of black pepper. Rating:
Arrowleaf Cellars Select Late Harvest Vidal ($21.70+tax, 375ml bottle) – Light greenish yellow in colour. Lemon, honey, pine needle and lychee aromas. Medium sweetness, medium body, with higher acidity. Honey, marmalade and orange rind on the palate. I tend to prefer Riesling over Vidal for Late Harvest or Ice Wines, due to Riesling’s higher acidity making the wine less sweet and cloying, but I must admit that I really loved the higher acidity of this Vidal and how it kept the wine exciting to sip. Rating: