One of my favourite certified organic wineries from BC is Kalala Organic Estate Winery, in West Kelowna. Making wine, starting in 2006, I’d say that they were one of the pioneer wineries showing that you can produce excellent organic wine at a reasonable price alongside Summerhill Pyramid Winery. They note that “Kalala, meaning “Miracle Place”, is the symbol of our commitment to harmony with nature, organic viticulture practices, and our wines.” You may notice their logo shows a lamb and a wolf curled up together showing coexistence, which is very inspiring.
I received three bottles from Kalala to review for you. The three wines are a Zweigelt, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Merlot. If you have not heard of the Zweigelt grape it is an Austrian hybrid grape Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, and I’ve read that it is the most widespread red grape variety in Austria. A few BC wineries have Zweigelt grapes; Kalala being one of them.
Two of the wines, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Merlot, are part of Kalala’s Dostana tier of wines. Dostana, meaning “friendship,” is a small batch, single-vineyard wine brand produced by Kalala. Dostana wines are made from a small plot of 35-year-old vines in West Kelowna.
My Tasting Notes
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Zweigelt 2018 (BC $25) – A deeper, about 60% opaque, clear ruby colour. It has a medium minus intensity nose, with expressive youth, showing aromas of cassis, red fruit, plum, sweet spices, red cherries, and touches of vanilla and cedar. You get some smokiness and oak added aromatics and less red fruits. It is slightly off-dry, with medium plus body, round, with a thicker mouthfeel. Lighter acidity and tannins. Juicy sweet fruit flavours; red plums, cassis, red fruits, and touches of oak, vanilla and floral. I also picked up a hint of minerality on the mid palate. The acidity picks up a bit with decanting, although the wine still stays smooth, you get more cassis and plum, and less red fruit and floral flavours. It has a medium length finishing with light drying tannins, red cherries, and some floral and oak. Add cedar on the finish with decanting. An easy sipper. I prefer the undecanted version.
Rating: – An easy sipping red with a light touch. Structure driven by fruit, with acidity and tannins lightly in support. Red fruits, plums and sweet spices aromas and flavours.
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Dostana Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (BC $25) – This wine has a clear, bright, medium intensity lemon colour. A medium minus intensity nose showing ripe sweet stone fruits, in particular peach, a hint of lime skin and honey. With decanting you also get some lychee aroma. This wine is slightly off dry, is very smooth, round and silky soft. Very low acidity, but not flabby. Stone fruits, peaches and apricots, a touch of vegetal, lime, and lychee with air. With a decant, you get crisp apples, more acidity, and no minerality or vegetal notes. A bit of a steely finish. It does have a medium length finishing with light stone fruit, minerality and honey flavours. Tasty. I prefer this wine sipped just as it is opened.
Rating: A super Sauvignon Blanc. Nice ripe stone fruit aromas and flavours, plus touches of lime and honey. A very smooth, soft silky mouthfeel.
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Dostana Merlot 2017 (BC $35) – Keep garnet colour in the glass; about 85% opaque. It has a medium plus intensity nose with lots of cedar, followed by sweet ripe red fruit, sweet spices, coffee and fruit cakes, cinnamon and a hint of black pepper aromas. To these exciting aromas with decanting you also get dill. It is just a touch off-dry, with medium plus intensity body and flavour intensity. It’s semi-round and almost silky, and has very fine tannins. It does have some angular acidity but does not make the wine overly tart. It has a mix of red and black fruit flavours, along with plums, black cherries, and touches of oak, vanilla, and cedar. The mouthfeel is plush with decanting and you get more cedar on the palate. A medium length on the finish, showing cedar, sweet red fruit and firmer tannins. Quite an expressive wine.
Rating: – A New World style Merlot. Driven by sweet ripe fruit, sweet spices and cedar aromatics. Silky mouth feel with lots of red and black fruit, supported by cedar, oak and vanilla flavours.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase these wines through the Kalala website. Other private wine shops may carry these wines, but you will need to ask. Swirl and BC Liquor Stores carry their Harmony Red.