Road 13 Vineyards has been producing award-winning wines for quite a while. They were awarded the Winery of the Year 2018 by WineAlign. In November 2018 Road 13 Vineyards were purchased by Mission Hill Family Estate from Kelowna. So these wines will be one of the last vintages produced by the original Road 13 Vineyards family for you to try.
You may not recognize some of the grapes used for these wines, in particular, Roussanne and Marsanne. But you should get to know these grapes. These grapes originate from the Rhone Valley in France and are commonly blended together. Roussanne and Marsanne are also allowed to be blended in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A ripe Roussanne grape can produce a rich, full-bodied wine with elevated acidity and flavours of honey and pear. Roussanne wines are recommended to either be enjoyed within the first few years while the fruit flavours are so expressive or to wait several years to enjoy the mature flavours. In between these ranges, Roussanne goes into a quiet phase where the flavours are muted. Marsanne produces deeply coloured wines that are rich and nutty, oily, with hints of spice and pear. So you are getting acidity from Roussanne and an oily texture from Marsanne, while both offer pear flavours. From my tasting of their Roussanne and VRM blend, I noted ripe pineapple besides pear. Maybe the pineapple flavour is something unique to our terroir? I hope you enjoy reading my tasting notes of these wines and will purchase some of these vintages and enjoy them with family and friends.
My Review of Road 13 Vineyards Latest Released Wines
Road 13 Vineyards Roussanne 2017 ($25.49) – is a bright deep gold colour in the glass. The wine has a very pronounced nose showing mostly ripe pineapple and oak. There is also some lemon, bramble leaf and maybe lanolin. With decanting you also get some peach aroma. The wine is dry but it is very thick, round and smooth on the palate. It has lighter acidity. Flavours are primarily ripe and dried pineapple along with toasty oak and vanilla. I also picked up over-ripe pears and possibly dried lemons. There is also a touch of apricot towards the finish. With decanting the wine feels like it has a lighter body and I pick up minerality. This wine has a long length finishing fairly peppery along with its pineapple, roasted pineapple and toasty oak flavours. With decanting I also detected some red cherries on the palate. Decanting helps open this wine a little more.
Rating: – This wine is a meal in a glass. It is a very deep, rich, full-bodied white wine with primarily ripe pineapple and toasty oak aromas and flavours.
Road 13 Vineyards VRM 2017 ($25.49) – is a blend of 36.6% Roussanne, 35.7% Marsanne, and 27.7% Viognier. This wine is also quite deep gold in colour in the glass. It has medium plus intensity nose where I detect a vegetal note along with tropical fruit, ripe pears, and some toasty oak. The vegetal nose goes away with decanting and you get lots of pineapple aroma. This wine is a little off-dry, very full-bodied, and has quite a big flavour intensity. It is thick and round with lower acidity. You get ripe pineapple and toasty oak along with ripe pears. There’s also that vegetal note as well on the palate. It does get peppery towards the finish along with toasted oak, vanilla and ripe pineapple. Decanting makes the wine lighter-bodied, the vegetal note disappears, and you get yellow apple flavour. It’s quite similar to the Roussanne but lighter bodied. Decanting makes this wine more elegant and delicate in my opinion.
Rating: – Decant this wine to get lots of ripe pineapple along with ripe pears and toasty oak on the nose. More pineapples and pears on the palate, with light pepperiness.
Road 13 Vineyards Chip Off the Old Block Chenin Blanc 2018 ($17.39) – has a medium intensity bright lemon colour. Medium-plus intensity nose showing grapefruit pith, lemon, bramble leaf, apricots and peaches. There are also hints of orange and white flowers. These aromas persisted with decanting. This wine is dry. It’s round but has a strong acidic backbone and has a slightly thicker waxy mouthfeel. Decanting softens the acidity and makes it feel lighter bodied. Primarily tart citrus flavours followed by stone fruits in particular white peach, and some steeliness. The wine finishes with citrus, rind, tart fruit and pepperiness. This wine is very young and has great ageing potential thanks to its acidic backbone. I’d like to taste this wine again in five to eight years. Decanting overall softened the acidity in the wine and gave it a lighter body. I also picked up a light white flower component on the palate with decanting.
Rating: Decanting recommended. This wine has a nice citrusy nose with hints of stone fruits, oranges and white flowers. With decanting you get softer acidity and a lighter-bodied wine. A mix of citrus and stone fruit flavours with a waxy mouthfeel. Leads to tart citrus fruit and pepperiness on the finish. Buy some to age!
Road 13 Vineyards GSM 2017 ($36.52) – is a blend of 51.4% Grenache, 34% Mourvedre, and 14.6% Syrah. It is about 80% opaque garnet from rim to core. The wine has a medium-plus intensity, very nice nose, showing some smokiness, red fruit, black pepper, and juicy cassis fruit. There is no change with the nose after decanting; still very nice. This wine is medium-bodied, dry, and round with medium acidity and fine tannins. The wine has a smoothness to it but an acidic edge as well. It has bright ripe red fruit and cassis flavours along with floral, some smokiness that then leads into black pepper. This wine is very flavorful and the fresh juicy flavours I think are due to the acidity in this wine. With decanting there is also a noticeable salty minerality from the wine. It has a medium-plus length finishing with some pepperiness, tart red fruit and cassis, and light tannins. Decanting makes this wine even better.
Rating: with decanting. A lively medium-bodied dry wine with red fruit and cassis in abundance on the nose and palate, with a touch of floral and some pepperiness on the finish.
Road 13 Vineyards Syrah Malbec 2017 ($32.17) – is 100% opaque garnet black in colour. It has a medium intensity deep aromas that are meaty, floral, nutmeg, ripe dark black fruits, black pepper, and ripe cassis. With decanting the meatiness and floral notes decreases and smokiness increases. This wine is slightly off-dry with a lighter mouthfeel. It is round with some minerality to it. Ripe black fruits and floral to start and you also can add some cassis, sweet spices, and light pepperiness. With decanting the wine gets some smokiness and flavour of dark chocolate. Towards the finish, you get plum, tart red and black fruit, and raspberry flavours. The acidity gets stronger as you go towards the finish and it gives more tart fruit flavours. With decanting the acidity stays more even from start to finish, which I prefer, but you lose the ripe plum and raspberry finish. The tannins get a bit stronger toward the finish but they are not drying. Acidity more than tannins give this wine structure.
Rating: – Drink this wine either freshly opened or with decanting. You will get an opaque garnet wine with floral and dark fruit aromas which continue to the palate. Stronger acidity gives this wine some red and black fruit tart flavours and structure.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
One last note about these wines, in particular, the closure. In an earlier article, I mentioned how I appreciated having a closure that was not the common black capsule. It is very difficult to find the bottle of wine you are interested from your wine cabinet when all you can see is the bottle closure. Road 13 Vineyards capsule has a smaller version of their tractor with a dog on it. Thanks for making it easy to find your wines no matter if they are standing upright with label facing outward or laying down with only the capsule visible.
Thank you to Road 13 Vineyards for providing these wines for me to review.