The Quandry and Consequence of Tasting Wines from Ramification Cellars

Ramification Cellars vineyard (Image courtesy Ramification Cellars)

Ramification Cellars vineyard (Image courtesy Ramification Cellars)

Today I’m pleased to enjoy the Quandry and Consequence of tasting wines from Ramification Cellars.  Ramification Cellars is a new winery located right along Vaseux Lake, between Oliver and Okanagan Falls. They note that their wines show the magic of Vaseux Lake in your glass. They have only 6 acres, 4 acres planted, are biodynamic farming, and use only estate fruit, and are very small production!  They are specializing in Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines, but have planted 1/2 acre of Cabernet Franc, and plan to plant some Chardonnay vines in 2021.  The winery is owned by Don Lloyd and his daughter Rachel.  They have a small team with a winery manager, Stephen Judge, COO, Jeff Parkinson, and a winery consultant to assist in wine production.

From their website, they note why their winery location is unique: “The combination of being located near the 49th parallel and the proximity to Vaseux Lake provides a cool and extended growing season. The Coast Range also plays a pivotal role by providing the rain shadow barrier that keeps our region drier. Celebrated for its ideal climate that draws in cool breezes from Vaseux Lake (our natural air conditioning), this special place produces wines with bright fruit, delicate texture, and pure varietal flavours, while retaining optimal natural acidity—qualities that are ideal for making delicious Pinot Gris, and exceptional Pinot Noir.

These conditions combined should give them clean fruit that can fully ripen slowly, bringing together optimal sugars, acidity, and phenolics.  Two first two wines I am tasting from them are their:

  • Ramification Cellars Quandry Pinot Gris 2018
  • Ramification Cellars Consequence Rosé 2018 (made from Pinot Noir grapes)

There are many California Bighorn Sheep in the area, so you see a drawing of a Bighorn Sheep head on a majority of their labels.  But now, let me tell you about these wines.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Ramification Cellars Quandry Pinot Gris 2018 (BC $22)

Fermented in 100% stainless steel, only 335 cases of this wine are produced.  

Appearance: A bright, medium-plus intensity lemon colour.
Nose: Quite a pronounced nose upon opening, that lights up a bit with swirling. Primarily ripe stonefruit with a lesser amount of sweet citrus in support. With swirling the aroma of apricots becomes pronounced.  There is quite a change after decanting.  You get honey, some sweet spices, pear and apple skin, and lime flavours, along with the ripe stone fruits.
Palate: Dry, medium body and round, and gets lighter on the mid-palate to the finish. A mix of ripe stone fruit flavours, along with some minerality. There is a buttery texture to the wine. With some swirling, you get more apricot flavour, plus a touch of lime. I was really amazed by the flavours of this wine after decanting.  There are pears and a touch of floral along with the stone fruits and lime.  But what was most surprising to me is that the lime was much stronger, and if you closed your eyes, you could imagine that you are drinking a lime margarita.  Seriously!  But you need to decant to get this experience.
Finish: Medium-plus length finishing with some stoniness, stone fruit flavour, light pepperiness and some grape stem.  With decanting you get the same initial flavours, plus lime and honey.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars A very fresh wine with stone fruit aromas and flavours, in particular apricots, but if you decant, you will enjoy a wine that tastes very much like a lime margarita.

Ramification Cellars Consequence Rose 2018 and Quandry Pinot Gris 2018 with wines in glasses

Ramification Cellars Consequence Rosé 2018 and Quandry Pinot Gris 2018 with wines in glasses

Ramification Cellars Consequence Rosé 2018 (BC $25)

Fermented in 100% stainless steel, a mere 100 cases produced.  You will note that I mention toast on the nose and palate.  I was told that there is no oak treatment for this wine and that this toasty note comes from the soil.  This is indeed special soil.  One of the most famous soils are Kimmeridgian from Chablis which contain a high degree of mineral-rich clay along with marine fossils resulting in high chalky content, and has a distinct flintiness.  I do not know the soil composition for Ramification Cellar’s vineyard, but I will try to find out more information for future articles.

Appearance: Medium-plus intensity bright, orangy salmon colour.
Nose: Medium intensity nose with strawberries and toast primarily, and lighter red fruit aromas. With decanting the aromas stay the same, except that the toasty aroma is changing to more of a flinty aroma.
Palate: Slightly off-dry, with a thicker round mouthfeel. Medium-plus acidity to provide fresh fruit flavours. Pronounced flavours, strawberries primarily along with bramble leaf and some grape stem. There is also some toastiness on the palate, black pepper and red apple.  Red fruit and red cherry flavours become stronger with decanting; and you still get the strawberry, black pepper, and toasty flavours.  Fresh red fruit flavours overall.
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing with some sweetness, red fruits, strawberries, and touches of pepperiness and grape stem. You get some of the flintiness on the finish with decanting.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Overall both just open and decanted, this off-dry wine will give you peppery spice, strawberries and other fresh red fruit aromas and flavours, along with some toastiness/flintiness.

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can purchase these two wines through their website.  Some private wine shops:

Quandry Pinot Gris

Castle Beer and Wine (Sooke)

Sunshine Hill LRS (Delta)

Public Liquor (Kelowna)

Hideaway LRS (Salmon Arm)

Setters LRS (Salmon Arm)

The Strath LRS (Victoria)

Lighthouse LRS (Sechelt)

Consequence Rosé

High Point Beer Wine Spirits (Vancouver)

Tyson Road Liquor Store (Chilliwack)

Sunshine Hill LRS (Delta)

Church Street Taphouse (Comox)

Public Liquor (Kelowna)

Hideaway LRS (Salmon Arm)

Setters LRS (Salmon Arm)

Ocean LRS (Parksville)

 

These wines may also available at other private wine shops, but you need to ask. 

Thank you to Ramification Cellars for providing me with these wines to taste and review.

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.