The holiday break for many of us starts very soon, and time to celebrate safely at home. I have three red wines from Gold Hill Winery that were provided to me to review and write about for you. Gold Hill Winery is located in the South Okanagan, in case you have not heard of the winery before, but you should as they produce some very nice wines. The three red wines that I outline below, I think, would be very nice to have with your family during these holidays.
As a bonus, I tasted these three wines with two cheeses that I received from Saputo; their Cathedral City Mature Cheddar and their Alexis de Portneuf Cendré de Lune, a soft surface-ripened triple cream Brie with a velvety surface covered with vegetable ash, from their limited edition “Entertaining Cheeses” box. Here is the URL for the Entertaining Cheeses box if you would like to add these cheeses to your holiday activities.
My Tasting Notes
Gold Hill Syrah 2016 (BC $34.99) – A very deep, solid garnet at the core and 98% opaque at the rim. It has a medium plus intensity nose with a mix of aromas; ganja + tea leaves, red fruits, cloves, plums, red cherries and sweet spices. You get more dark fruit aromas with swirling after the initial pour. With a longer decant the black fruit aromas become much stronger and the red cherry aroma fades. This wine is off-dry with lower acidity. Medium fine textured tannins. Medium plus flavour intensity, is semi-round, and gets lighter mid palate. Black cherries, cloves, dark fruit, tobacco, raspberries and oak. There is some bitter flavour which I think comes from the oak and cloves. It does lighten a bit with swirling. With decanting, the next day the wine is much less bitter, has more black fruit flavours, and has a smoother and rounder mouthfeel. It finishes with tarriness + dark chocolate bitterness, cocoa, vanilla, ripe black fruit, oak, cloves, and black pepper. The tannins on the finish are fine grained and light intensity. Again with decanting the bitterness is much less and you get a nicer finish, with the black fruit, cocoa and black pepper. Decanting is recommended.
Rating: – An intense Syrah with a mix of ganja, tea leaves, red fruits, and cloves on the nose to start and adds black fruits with air. Strong dark fruit flavours along with cloves, black cherries, and light oak. This wine has some bitter flavours upon first opening but giving it a good decant reduces these and brings out more black fruit aromas and flavours.
Gold Hill Winery Cabernet Franc 2016 (BC $34.99) – This wine has a deeper, about 60% opaque garnet colour, but is still translucent to the core. It has a medium intensity youthful nose showing ripe red berries, cassis, some smokiness and sweet spices. With decanting I also picked up cedar on the nose. It is dry, semi-round with a lighter mouthfeel on the mid palate. Medium acidity and very fine tannins combined give this wine structure. You get flavours of red fruits, plums, cassis, some smokiness and a touch of floral and herbaceousness with swirling. This wine has a rounder mouthfeel with decanting, along with more cassis and cedar flavours through the sip to the finish, and a mix of cocoa and chocolate on the mid palate. It has medium length finishing with light oak and pepperiness, red fruit flavours, and a touch of chocolate at the very end. The fine tannins firm up a bit on the finish. Excellent.
Rating: – with decanting. A Cabernet Franc with finesse. Nice ripe red berries and cassis on the nose and palate plus some cedar, cocoa and chocolate flavours as well. Semi-round, dry, with fine tannins. More black fruit flavours and rounder with decanting.
Gold Hill Winery Grand Vin Family Reserve / Meritage 2016 (BC $64.99) – a blend is Cabernet Franc dominant with lesser amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. It has a deep, about 85% opaque garnet colour, but still translucent to the core. The aromas are light, and you mainly get a variety of sweet spices, vanilla, cloves, and baby powder, with a touch of oak, red fruits and blueberries. Cherry aromas also with some swirling. Smells very holiday festive. No changes to the aromatics with decanting. This wine has a nice light touch. It is quite soft and round with a light fine tannic and acidic edge. Light fruit flavours; a mix of black and red fruits, plums and some minerality. The darker fruit flavours increase toward the finish. I also picked up a touch of herbaceousness. With decanting you get more black than red fruits, plus a the herbaceous note disappears. This wine has a medium length finishing with lingering red and black fruits, sweet spices and light tannins. Slightly firmer tannic finish with decanting, but overall very nice with or without decanting.
Rating: A wine that offers wonderful sweet spices on the nose plus some red fruits, blueberries and cherries. Soft and round with fine light tannins. Light fruit flavours, red and black fruits plus plums, on the palate. Finishes with fruits and sweet spices. A very enticing wine to leisurely sip and enjoy with family.
Wine and Cheese Pairing Notes
Gold Hill Syrah 2016
The Cendré de Lune pairing with the Syrah was very good. The cheese kept its creaminess and you add the fruit flavours from the wine, plus the bitterness from the Syrah was reduced. In addition the Mature Cheddar was also a very good pairing. You still get the nice texture and sharpness from the cheddar and fruit from the Syrah, plus again a reduction in the bitterness from the Syrah.
Gold Hill Winery Cabernet Franc 2016
The Cendré de Lune also paired nicely with the Cabernet Franc. The wine lightened the cheese a bit and added to the creaminess. I also interestingly tasted coconut on the finish (I assume from oak barrel ageing of the wine). The fruitiness of the wine was complimentary to the milky creaminess of the cheese. And again, the Mature Cheddar also paired well with this wine. You get creaminess from the cheese, then light fruit flavours and some pepperiness from the wine, and finally finishing with the sharpness of the cheese.
Gold Hill Winery Grand Vin Family Reserve / Meritage 2016
Lastly, the Grand Vin paired wonderfully with both the Cendré de Lune and the Mature Cheddar. With the Cendré de Lune the wine lightened the cheese, still giving you creaminess then a buttery flavour. The coconut flavour came through again as mentioned for the Cab Franc, plus you also get red fruit flavours from the wine. The Cheddar gets a more creamy texture with the wine. The wine provides fruit flavours and then towards the finish the sharpness of the Cheddar comes to the fore.
I loved all the pairing for these three wines and two cheeses. Recommended.