This is the first week that I am tasting BC wines for you for 2021. I am honoured to be tasting Roche Wines from Penticton, BC. Roche Wines organically farms their vineyards. I opened their Texture Pinot Gris 2019 and their Tradition Chardonnay 2018. The Chardonnay is very limited production with only 118 cases produced and is only available to club members.
From Roche Wines, their 2018 Chardonnay is “Sourced from a one acre parcel, this 100% Chardonnay was grown at Falcon’s View Vineyard just north of the town of Oliver. Small alluvial gravels from an early post-glacial riverbed provide excellent drainage, evening shadow from the mountains to the west prolongs the ripening period in this hot climate.
Grapes were hand picked in the early morning while still cool, and whole-bunch pressed. The juice was then settled overnight and then transferred to 2nd and 3rd fill 225L light toast French oak barrels for fermentation, with a complete malo-lactic fermentation in the spring. Aged on lees for 8 months before racking and bottling.”
The owners, Pénélope and Dylan Roche, are also the winemakers. Pénélope comes from six generations of viticulture and winemaking at Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Dylan has a diploma in viticulture and wine making in Beaune then apprenticed in the Côte d’Or, Chablis, and New Zealand. He also spent 5 years in Bordeaux including teaching oenology and sensory evaluation classes at Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, and managing a small winery in Margaux. Lots of good experience, which when I taste these two wines, I can say that the wines’ expressions are more in the Old World style. These are both very elegant wines and I have no hesitation recommending them to you.
My Tasting Notes
Roche Wines Texture Pinot Gris 2019 (BC $21.90) – this wine has a bright, medium intensity mix of pear skin and straw colour in the glass. A medium plus intensity nose showing ripe apricot, along with crisp apple, floral, honey and a touch of spice. With decanting you can add peach and some toastiness to the nose. This wine is dry with a thicker mouthfeel, round, and has a subtle prickle edge. You get deeper flavors of pear, pear skin, apricot and apple, along with a touch of floral and lime skin. With a bit of air this wine gets a little lighter mouthfeel. This lightness continues if you decant the wine. With decanting I also picked up a light toastiness and stony minerality, while the fruit flavours and texture of this wine remained constant. It has a medium plus length finishing with deep, ripe apricot and apple, pear skin and a light acidic touch. Very nice.
Rating: A wine with a light ripe stone fruit nose, along with honey and spice. It has a thicker, round mouthfeel with a subtle acidic edge. A mix of pear, apricot, apple and a touch of floral on the palate.
Roche Wines Tradition Chardonnay 2018 (only for wine club members) – A bright deep lemon colour. It has a medium intensity nose with nice ripe pineapple along with butterscotch aromas, along with lesser vanilla and sweet spices. No change to the aromas after decanting. It is fuller bodied with a thick, round, buttery mouthfeel, and a light acidic touch. It is almost dry, showing a very light touch of sweetness. Ripe pineapple and butterscotch flavours, along with light oak and vanilla. A medium plus to long finish that continues with the ripe pineapple, butterscotch and a touch of oak, but you can also add a bit of pepperiness. The mouthfeel does get lighter on the finish and also with decanting. No flavour changes with decanting. This is an excellent wine. It does come under cork; I do notice good quality corks and this is a good example.
Rating: A wine in perfect harmony with fruit, acidity, and oak. Ripe pineapple and butterscotch aromas and flavours that don’t overpower your nose or palate. Light acidity and flavours add complexity to this wine. Delicious.
Tasting these 2 wines is an excellent way to start off 2021 and I hope to share many more excellent BC wines with you this year.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
As mentioned, the Tradition Chardonnay is only available to Club Members. Club Membership info at this link. The Texture Pinot Gris is available to order from their website. You may also buy this wine at Legacy Liquor or the Broadway Wine Shop.
The 2017 Chardonnay is featured through the Flying Pig group of restaurants.
Roche Wines has complimentary shipping in BC for orders of 6 bottles or more. No code needed.
Thank you to Roche Wines for providing me these wines to review.