Chardonnay and Riesling are noble variety grapes from France, most notably from Burgundy, and from Germany respectively. There has always been a rivalry between people that like one or the other better. Chardonnay comes in a variety of styles from oaked or unoaked and different array of fruit flavours from citrus to stone fruits to tropical fruits depends on how hot or cool the climate the grapes were grown. Riesling wines have a long history and were once the most expensive wines in the world, commanding more than Bordeaux and Champagne. Riesling wines are typically made without oak and are said to be very transparent to their terroir; type of soil, the climate, and growing season conditions all affecting the grape. These wines can also be made anywhere from bone dry to sweet to ice wine. The wines are typically high acid and can thus age for many years. So very versatile. I enjoy wines from both grapes and leave it up to what I am eating and the friends or family I am enjoying wine with. Try both wines and let me know which you prefer, or maybe you like both equally.
I received these wines from Monte Creek Ranch Winery, located on the eastern edge of Kamloops to try. Monte Creek Ranch and the other wineries in this relatively new region are producing some excellent wines that you should try. There is more to BC wine than the Okanagan.
My Tasting Notes
Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2018 (BC est $19.99) – this wine has a bright, pale lemon green colour. It has a pronounced nose with aromas of lemon and grapefruit, along with touches of stone fruit and pith. With a bit of swirling you also get a substantial petrol aroma. With decanting the stone fruit aroma becomes stronger and you can add lime. This wine is dry but has quite high acidity and what I really like, a very light mouthfeel. With decanting it does have a bigger mouthfeel (medium). It does have some roundness to it and gets rounder with air. You get citrus and green fruit to start then add stone fruit and crisp McIntosh apple, and then some steeliness on the palate. With some swirling you get petrol and salty minerality as well. It finishes with a medium plus length and flavours of tart citrus and light pepperiness. With decanting there is more stone fruit flavour on the finish. You can age this wine for 3-4 more years.
Rating: A nice light Riesling. Refreshing acidity with a mix of citrus, green fruit, stone fruit and apple flavours.
Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay 2018 (BC $19.99) – a medium plus intensity lemony gold colour in the glass. This wine has a lighter intensity, medium minus, nose showing ripe tropical fruits, butterscotch and light toast. There is also a butteriness to the nose. Surely this wine has 100% malolactic fermentation! With decanting the aromas stay the same but the intensity goes up to medium plus. It is dry with lower acidity and fuller body giving you a round, silky smooth, thicker mouthfeel. I get buttered popcorn and very ripe tropical fruit flavours and citrus. Toastiness, ripe tropical fruit and butterscotch on the finish. With decanting there is much more butterscotch flavour, toast, and you can add sweet spices toward the finish. I’m thinking that this may pair really well with a smoked sablefish dish. A rich wine with a rich dish.
Rating: A big silky Chardonnay with lots of ripe tropical fruits and butterscotch flavour, and a round, buttery mouthfeel.
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, Monte Creek Ranch does have an interactive web map finder. On this web page is also information about where you can buy their wines outside of BC.