Two Big Reds from Church & State Wines

Here are two big red wines for you from Church & State Wines, a Meritage and a Syrah. The Syrah grapes are grown in the Coyote Bowl vineyard in the Oliver-Osoyoos wine region in the Okanagan Valley. The Coyote Bowl Vineyard had originally been three contiguous 10-acre orchards, situated along a large gravel bowl on the Black Sage Bench. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, and Petit Verdot are grown in the Coyote Bowl vineyard. I believe the vines were planted in 2003 with the first vintage in 2006. Gravel is supposed to give a wine structure and power, as well gravel soils reflect sunshine to the leaves and berries to encourage full maturation.  The Syrah definitely is big.  They built their winery in the Coyote Bowl Vineyard.  The map below shows the location of the winery and the vineyard, now let me tell you about both wines.

My Tasting Notes

Church & State Wines Coyote Bowl Series Syrah 2016 (BC $60.94) – wow this wine comes in at 15.5% alc. I’m expecting a big wine and that’s what I got. This wine is opaque ruby to the rim in colour. It has a medium minus intensity nose, very beautifully aromatic. Vanilla, purple fruit, light sweet spices, cedar, baby powder and plums on the nose.  I did not notice any changes on the nose with decanting, which is OK as it smells great.  This wine is off-dry with a bigger body and flavour intensity. It is round, soft and silky plush on the palate. It offers ripe sweet purple fruits, vanilla, ripe black plums and vanilla. There are also touches of minerality, sweet spices, perfume and cedar. Medium strength, fine grained tannins, that don’t stand out. No changes on the palate with decanting.  This wine has a longer length finishing with light pepperiness, cedar, vanilla and purple fruit. More acidity than tannins on the finish. Definitely a New World style wine with plush mouthfeel and very fruit forward.  No hard edges to this wine; a smooth operator. Only 500 cases of this wine were made.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars A big New World style red wine with lots of ripe purple fruits, cedar and sweet spices on the nose and palate.  It is off-dry, very round, with a soft and plush mouthfeel.  

Church & State Wines Meritage 2017 (BC $36.79) – a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, in unknown percentages. This wine is almost opaque garnet, with some lightness along the rim. It has a medium plus intensity nose showing red fruit, sweet spices, cedar, nutmeg and cinnamon, black berries, oak, and black pepper aromatics. There was no change in aromas with decanting. This wine is dry, medium bodied with medium plus flavour intensity. The wine is not fully round and has a thinner mouthfeel. Medium acidity and medium plus tannins. Black berries, ripe raspberries and plums, and black pepper on the palate. There is a touch of floral on the mid palate. With decanting the changes were minor; add some red cherries and drop the black pepper flavours. The wine has a medium plus to long finish with drying chalky tannins, black fruit, black berries, a touch of floral and pepperiness. This wine can age 5-8 years.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars An intensely flavoured wine with a blend of blackberries, raspberries, and plums aromas and flavours, along with touches of cedar, sweet spices, and oak.  Firmer tannins.  This wine can age 5-8 years.

Church & State Wines Coyote Bowl Series Syrah 2016 and Church & State Wines Meritage 2017 with wines in glasses

Church & State Wines Coyote Bowl Series Syrah 2016 and Church & State Wines Meritage 2017 with wines in glasses

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can purchase Church & State Wines via their website store.  Swirl Wine store carries a wide selection of their wines.  

The following larger chains and some gov liquor stores carry Church & State Wines:

  • Save on foods/Wines of BC  (only those who have wine)
  • Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstores (only those who have wine)
  • Liquor for Less
  • Liquor Depot/Liquor Barns
  • Everything Wine
  • Cascadia
  • Liquor Plus
  • Jak’s
  • Viti

There are other smaller private wine shops carrying these wines but you have to ask.

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.

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