I try to make a trip to the Okanagan once a year as part of my summer vacation. This year I decided to stop in Oliver as part of my trip and visit 3 different wineries, all in close proximity to each other. The first winery visit on my list is C.C. Jentsch Cellars. I have been impressed with their wines for several years. One of their big breakthroughs is when their 2013 Syrah won the best Syrah out of a field of 12 top international Syrahs during The Judgment of BC. They have much more to offer than their Syrah, but subsequent vintages of the Syrah have been excellent. If you are a Chardonnay fan their 2016 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay won a Silver Medal at the 2018 Chardonnay du Monde, and a Gold Medal at their 2017/2018 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.
All the wines that I tasted showed fresh BC fruit aromas and flavours and are drinkable right now. Chris Jentsch was very generous to spend time with me to show me around the winery and the vineyard behind the winery. Thanks Chris.
My Tasting Notes
C.C. Jentsch The Quest 2016 ($17.90) – A blend of 74% Chardonnay, 20% Viognier, and 6% Gewurztraminer. Lots of aromatics; juicy tropical fruit and lees, along with a hint of sweet spices on the nose. Fuller body, dry with higher acidity, but still smooth. Flavours of crisp apple, and tropical fruit. Some pepperiness on the finish. –
C.C. Jentsch Viognier 2015 ($22.90) – Light intensity but bright stone fruit nose, with a hint of orange. Dry, medium intensity flavours of oranges, grapefruit rind and tart stone fruit. Also a mineral edge. Light mouthfeel. Longer length. –
C.C. Jentsch Small Lot Series Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2017 ($35.90) – I tasted this wine only after 10 days in the bottle, so it may not have totally settled down, but here are my initial notes on this wine. It has light intensity aromas of vanilla, peaches and acetone. The wine is round and dry, medium acidity, with a soft mouthfeel. Flavours of peaches, bananas, tropical fruit, and sweet spices. A hint of oak that is well-integrated into the wine. Some butterscotch flavour at the very end. Tasty. FYI, I was reading an article on oak barrels before tasting this wine and one of the things I noted is that banana is a flavour that can be imparted by oak. So don’t be surprised if you taste banana in a oaked wine.
C.C. Jentsch Cabernet Merlot 2016 ($15.90) – This wine is a blend of 42% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Petit Verdot. Medium translucent garnet colour. Tart red fruit, bramble, red cherries and a touch of vanilla on the nose. Medium minus body, dry with medium level tannins and acidity. Tart red fruit flavours. Light tannins on the finish. This wine is very Pinot Noir like in my opinion. –
C.C. Jentsch The Chase 2014 ($19.90) – A blend of 34% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot. Deeper garnet colour, but still translucent to the core. Ripe, juicy raspberries and red fruit aromas. Fuller bodied, dry with higher acidity. Raspberries, tart red fruit and a hint of floral on the palate. Bright vibrant fruit flavours. Almost grippy tannins. A hint of pepper on the finish. A structured wine. –
C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2015 ($31.90) – Deeper garnet coloured. Very aromatic showing sweet spices, cedar, sweet black fruit and light oak. An intense nose. Full body, dry and round with medium plus tannins. Ripe raspberries and vanilla to start followed by red fruits and nutmeg spices and light oak. Very flavourful. Longer length. My favourite of all the wines tasted.
C.C. Jentsch Small Lot Series Blanc de Noir 2017 ($22.90) – This wine is made from Merlot. It has a pale rose petal colour. Light, bright red fruit aromas in the glass. Off-dry to semi-sweet. Round and soft with medium acidity. Light red fruit and red cherries along with a hint of pepperiness. –
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
C.C. Jentsch does sell their wines through their website at this link. The above prices are from their website. A few of their wines are available through EverythingWine. ca. A very long list of private shops and restaurants offering their wines is listed at this link.