2016 was a very good year for BC grapes. The growing season started early, became hot in Spring, cooled down in July, warmed up again in August and cooled a bit in September. A bit of a roller coaster in temperature and rain, but overall warm and cool I think when it was needed. In the Okanagan with the cool desert air in the evenings, even with hot temperatures, does help to preserve the zippy acidity in the grapes.
Calliope Wines is the second label for Burrowing Owl Winery, located in the south Okanagan. The wine makers goals for Calliope wines are to take cues from the energy and zip from the flights of the Calliope hummingbird, that lives in the south Okanagan. A drawing of this hummingbird graces the labels of these wines. These wines below do have zippy acidity and great fresh Okanagan fruit flavours. I invite you to read through my tasting notes, and pick up some bottles for your enjoyment. Great prices for the quality of these wines.
My Tasting Notes
Calliope Riesling 2016 (~$14.99) – Pale straw with a green tinge in the glass. This wine has medium intensity,mostly citrus on the nose, but also some green fruit and peach. With decanting you get a more prominent grapefruit aroma. The wine is dry with the tiniest hint of sweetness, medium bodied, heavier mouth feel and medium plus acidity. The intensity of fruit flavour is above average with flavours of citrus, in particular grapefruit, with lesser amounts of peach and peach. Decanting makes this wine feel smoother in your mouth, plus you get more pronounced peach and other stone fruit flavours. Medium plus length with acidic prickle on your tongue, tart citrus fruit, and some pepperiness. A nice, age-able Riesling.
Rating: – A Riesling with nice citrus and peach aromas and flavours. A good acidic backbone will let this wine age well over the next 4-5 years.
Calliope Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (~$15.99) – Pale straw colour. A nice, fruity, medium intensity nose, with lemon lime and honey aromas. There is also some green rind, orange, and ripe peach notes in the background. With decanting you get more stone fruit aromas. Either way, a very nice nose on this Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is dry, with medium plus acidity; more angular in the mouth feel. Above average level of flavour intensity; mostly lemon, along with grapefruit, and hints of mandarin orange and peach. Medium plus length, finishing with mouth-watering acidity, tart citrus, grapefruit rind, pepperiness and some steeliness. I really enjoyed this wine.
Rating: Lots of ripe citrus on the nose and palate, along with stone fruits, which get more prominent with decanting. The hints of mandarin orange and peach add nice complexity of flavours.
Calliope Viognier 2016 (~$14.99) – Medium lemon in colour. This wine has a nice nose, with orange and peach aromas. There are also floral and a flinty or bramble note on the nose. The wine is dry, round with medium acidity and a fuller mouth feel. The flinty or bramble from the nose, continues to the palate. The wine mainly has peach flavour, along with lesser amounts of other stone fruits. Medium plus length finishing with bitter citrus rind, tart green fruit and some pepperiness.
Rating: A straight forward white with peach on the nose and palate, balanced acidity, and a hard to describe flinty-bramble note.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
Calliope wines are available in retail stores in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This link will let you find the wine shop nearest to you.