Check Out 6 New Wine Releases from Monte Creek Ranch

Monte Creek Ranch Winery vineyard
Monte Creek Ranch Winery vineyard

Monte Creek Ranch Winery, located just east of Kamloops, is one of our emerging regions wineries.  They have put out a few vintages already. The 2016 vintage started with their earliest bud-break yet and a warm spring.  A rainy June and July slowed the growth of the grapes, but still harvest began early. Two weeks early, on August 22.  The mild summer temperatures allowed for gradual ripening so that the grapes could reach a fuller phenolic ripeness without the sugars going too high, and acidity plummeting.  As the wineries is still new, figuring out how best to ferment and age the wines is still underway. All the wines in their Spring release have a wild ferment component to them. Also, in their Ranch Hand Red they experimented with co-fermenting the Merlot and Frontenac Noir grapes.  Co-fermentation can sometimes bring out a little extra flavour or aroma from the wines.  This is the case for example of co-fermenting Viognier with Syrah in the Rhone Valley.

As the Kamloops area can have a cold, harsh winter, I commend Monte Creek Ranch Winery for trying to grow grapes and produce wines.  They do have to bury their young vinifera vines every winter until the vines reach maturity and are more established.  This takes dedication. With the extended Winter for 2017, I hope the coldness did not overly affect the vines for this Spring.  Let me tell you about their Spring Release wines below.

My Wine Review Notes

Monte Creek Ranch Hands-Up White 2016 (Winery Price $15.49) – A blend of 54% Frontenac Blanc, 27% Viognier, 16% La Crescent, and 3% Riesling.  Frontenac Blanc and La Crescent are two hybrid grapes coming from the University of Minnesota that are both disease resistant and cold tolerant.   This wine is bright straw colour with a green tinge in the glass.  Medium plus intensity nose with aromas of tropical fruits, banana, pineapple, and touches of pear, tangerine, floral and grapefruit.  It is dry on the palate with above average acidity, body and flavour intensity.  It does have a round mouth feel and is quite mouth-filling. It is mostly tropical fruit flavours, with lesser amounts of banana, peach, Bartlett pear, and grapefruit.  There is also something like candied lime that I pick up.  The wine has medium length, finishing with mouth-watering acidity, tropical fruit, citrus rind, and slightly hot/pepperiness.  Decanting does not really make a difference in this wine.

Rating: 4 stars A very tropical fruity, fun wine to enjoy with friends.

Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2016 (Winery Price $16.99) – Pale lemon green in the glass.  A pretty nose; medium intensity with aromas of flowers, lychee, mandarin orange and sweet grapefruit.  Dryish, lighter mouth-feel, with some roundness, countered by higher acidity.  Peaches, lychee, and flowers up front, adding in salty minerality and grapefruit from the mid-palate to the finish.  The minerality intensity picks up with decanting.  The wine has a longer finish, with tart fruit, grapefruit rind, peach and pepperiness.

Rating: 4 stars A nice, lighter, brighter, fresh fruit flavoured Riesling, enlivened by its acidity.

Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay Reserve 2015 (Winery Price $24.99) – Bright, medium lemon in colour.  There are noticeable legs on the sides of the glass when you swirl the wine.  It has medium intensity developing aromas of tea leaves (Earl Gray), together with lemon, some dried herb and oak.  With decanting the wine also shows some smokiness on the nose.  The wine is round and soft; mouth filling body.  Medium acidity.  It is buttery and shows off the Earl Gray tea leaves, together with pears and light touches of lemon, sweet spices, vanilla, and butterscotch.  It has a longer finish, with mouth-watering acidity, pepperiness, tea leaves and some bitterness.  Good quality!

Rating: 4.5 stars  A well-structured wine, with lovely tea leaves on the nose and palate.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery Riesling, Reserve Chardonnay, and Rose wines
Monte Creek Ranch Winery Riesling, Reserve Chardonnay, and Rose wines

Monte Creek Ranch Rose 2016 (Winery Price $16.99) – This rose is made with the hybrid grape, Marquette.  It hails from the University of Minnesota, where it was bred for its tolerance to cold and diseases.  The wine has a pale rhubarb colour.  On the nose it is a mix of red fruit, red cherries, and acetone.  It is dry, fuller bodied, with medium plus acidity.  Flavours of rhubarb, red cherries and leafiness.  Light acidic backbone.  One thing that I noticed is that it has a soapy texture to it, which I did not enjoy that much, but maybe is OK for others.  The wine has medium length, finishing with red fruit. With decanting the soapy texture is reduced, and you get more red cherries toward the finish in this rose wine.

Rating: 3.5 stars  Tart red fruit and rhubarb on the nose and palate.  It has a soapy texture which you may or may not enjoy.

Monte Creek Ranch Ranch Hand Red Reserve 2015 (Winery Price $29.99)- This wine is a blend of 47% Merlot, 35% Frontenac Noir, and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is almost opaque ruby in colour, with noticeable legs on the sides of the glass (it does come in at 14% alc).  It has a medium intensity nose with aromas of nutmeg, ripe raspberries, black berries and black fruit.  There is also a hint of chocolate.  With decanting the raspberry aroma lessens and is replaced with cassis. Its dry on the palate, very soft, round and silky, with light tannins.  I picked up some salty minerality as well.  Ripe fruits; raspberries, red cherries and black fruit along with hints of sweet spice, vanilla, and chocolate.  The raspberry flavour livens up the black fruit is in this wine.  The ripe fruit almost has a sweetness to it.  With decanting it is not quite as fruity, but you do pick up some cassis.  It also gains a bit more tannic structure.  It has a medium length, finishing with dark fruit, some mocha and tannic oakiness.  With decanting the tannins are stronger on the finish.  You get a trade-off with this wine.  If you drink it as soon as you open the bottle, you get more fruit and light tannins, while if you decant it, you get less fruit but more tannic structure.  The choice is yours.

Rating: 4 stars-4.5 stars A lighter bodied red that is quite fruity; a balance of black fruit and raspberries, and has soft tannins.

Monte Creek Ranch Blueberry Wine NV (Winery Price $16.99) – This wine is a blend of primarily blueberries (94%), together with the remainder of haskap berry.  Haskap looks similar to a blueberry but it is different.  It is also known as blue honeysuckle and many other similar names.  It is native to northern boreal forests in Canada, and has a blueberry/raspberry flavour.  This wine is very translucent, medium intensity ruby colour.  Light blueberry and some sweet spices mixed it. It’s off-dry, round and soft, with medium acidity, body and flavour intensity.  It’s primarily blueberry flavour, but there is also a floral component to it.  Medium minus length, with more blueberry flavours and a slightly sweet finish.  It has enough acidity to balance out the fruit and sugar in the wine.  The flavour doesn’t linger too long, so you want to have another sip soon.

Rating: 4 stars A light glass of blueberries; not complicated; just enjoy.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery Ranch Hand Red, Hands Up White and Blueberry wines
Monte Creek Ranch Winery Ranch Hand Red, Hands Up White and Blueberry wines

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

Monte Creek Ranch does offer sales of their wines through their Buy Wine web page.  If you live in the lower mainland or the Fraser Valley, the list below shows all the shops that carry Monte Creek Ranch’s wines:

  • VQA Sumas Mountain Wines
  • Whatcom Wine & Spirits
  • Hot Springs Liquor Store
  • Aldergrove Liquor Store
  • Bainbridge Liquor Store
  • Bottle Jockey – Burnaby
  • Great Bear Beer & Wine
  • Hop & Vine Liquor Store
  • VQA Kensington Wines
  • Garrison Wine & Liquor Store
  • Boulevard Casino
  • John B Beer and Wine Store
  • Roo’s Private LIquor Store
  • VQA Westwood Wines
  • Woody’s Beer and WIne Store
  • Ladner’s Landing B&W
  • River House Pub
  • Speed’s Liquor Store
  • Sunshine Hills LRS
  • VQA Mud Bay Wines
  • Beatnicks Bistro
  • Berezan Liquor & Beer Store Langley
  • Jimy Mac’s Wine and Beer Store
  • Langley Liquor Store
  • Murrayville BW Store
  • Sharks Beer and Wine Store-langley
  • Town Centre Liquor Store
  • VQA Wine Emporium
  • Willoughby Liquor Store
  • Black Sheep Liquor Store
  • Firefly Fine Wines & Ales Ltd
  • Fox’s Reach Liquor Store
  • Haney Hotel Liquor Store
  • Maple Ridge Liquor Store
  • Office Liquor Store
  • Outpost Liquor Store
  • Witch of Endor Beer & Wine Store
  • City Hall Liquor Store
  • Mission Springs Beer & Wine
  • Sisto River LRS
  • Luckys Liquor Store
  • 8th Street LRS
  • Pacific Liquor Store – New Westminster
  • Spirits of Mt. Seymour
  • VQA Edgemont Village Wine
  • Firehall Bistro
  • Pitt Meadows Beer & Wine Store
  • Arms Liquor Store
  • Gillnetter Pub Liquor Store
  • Select Liquor Store
  • Port Moody Liquor Store
  • Bridgeport Liquor Store
  • Fogg N Sudds YVR
  • Malones Liquor Store
  • Pioneer Beer & Wine Store
  • River Rock Casino Resort
  • Tugboat Annie’s Pub
  • VQA Sip Wines
  • West Coast Liquor Co YVR
  • Brewsters Liquor Store
  • Central City Brewing Company
  • Citrus Pub & Grill
  • Clayton Liquor Store
  • Cloverdale Station Liquor Store
  • Guildford Station Beer and Wine
  • Pacific Liquor Store – Fleetwood
  • Robin Hood Liquor Store
  • Samz Liquor Store
  • Tudor LRS
  • VQA Price Smart Foods Int
  • VQA Save On Foods South Point
  • VQA Swirl White Rock
  • Waterstone Lounge LRS (Berezan)
  • Liquor Quicker
  • Caffe Barney
  • Eldorado B & W
  • Granville Island Hotel (Dockside Rest)
  • Hastings Liquor Store
  • Jimmys Cold Beer & Wine Store
  • Kitsalano Liquor Store
  • Legacy Liquor Store
  • Lennox Liquor Store
  • Liberty Wine Merchants
  • Pacific Spirits Wine Cellar
  • Sheraton Vancouver Fine Spirits
  • Speakeasy on Broadway
  • St Regis Fine Wine & Spirits
  • Value On Liquor Store
  • Viti Wine & Lagers
  • VQA Swirl Yaletown
  • VQA Village Wines – Kitsilano
  • VQA Village Wines Dunbar
  • West End Liquor Store
  • Westin Grand Hotel
  • Winking Judge Pub
  • 16th Street Liquor Store
  • Whiterock Liquor Store
Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.