2 Quality Red Bordeaux Blends from Roche Wines

Roche Wines Nuances and Chateau labels

Roche Wines Nuances and Chateau labels

Back to Bordeaux-style wines from the Okanagan. Two bottles I have been looking forward to opening are the Roche Wines Chateau 2017 and their Nuances 2018. The Chateau is under cork and the Nuances uses a screw cap. Both wines use Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, but in different proportions. I tasted their Nuances 2017 vintage and now have the 2018 vintage to sample and compare for you. This is the second vintage of their Chateau wine.  I was fortunate to be able to taste this vintage in January, so let’s see how things have changed in the bottle over the last 5 months.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Roche Wines Chateau 2017 (BC $49.90)

A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. This is the second vintage of a new tradition of their Grand Vin. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered.

Appearance: A deep garnet, about 85% opaque.
Nose: Light intensity nose, with aromas of red and black fruit, candied cherries, baby powder, and touches of cedar, violets, and cocoa. With decanting the aromas were more black fruit, with cedar, floral, and candied cherries lighter in support.
Palate: A dry wine that is lighter bodied, soft, and silky. Not quite round upon first opening but gets rounder with swirling. Very fine light tannins. Red fruit, raspberries, black cherries, bramble berries, and touches of cocoa, vanilla, violets, and sweet spices. There is a light level of pepperiness on the mid-palate that continues to the finish. A much rounder and softer wine plus weightier mouthfeel with decanting.  Nutmeg, black cherries, ripe black fruit, and touches of vanilla, cocoa, violets, and nutmeg flavours.  
Length: A medium-minus length finishing with red fruit and light pepperiness, and touches of vanilla and cedar. Medium intensity tannins.

Decanting really helps opening up this wine. Do it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with decanting. A light nose with red fruit, candied cherries, and touches of baby powder, violets, cedar and cocoa aromas. Decanting promotes black fruit aromas.  Dry, soft and silky with a lighter body, and gets bigger, rounder and softer with decanting.  Red fruits, brambleberries, and black cherry flavours, with touches of violets, chocolate, cedar, and vanilla. Very light tannins with some pepperiness on the finish.

Roche Wines Nuances 2018 and Chateau 2017 with wines in glasses

Roche Wines Nuances 2018 and Chateau 2017 with wines in glasses

Roche Wines Nuances 2018 (BC $32.90)

A blend of 58% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 12 months in 10% new French oak.

Appearance: Deep garnet in colour, about 75% opaque.
Nose: A medium intensity nose showing sweet ripe red fruit, black cherries, sweet spices, and touches of capsicum (with air), cedar, oak and vanilla. If you give the wine some swirls you get black fruit plus some chocolate aromas. Same aromas with decanting, but the black fruit aromas become stronger.
Palate: Dry, lighter-bodied, with medium acidity and fine light tannins. The wine starts off with a linear mouthfeel but gets rounder with air. Red fruit, plums, blackberries, black cherries, and a touch of vanilla, capsicum, and chocolate flavours. A pleasant mineral edge as well. With decanting, the wine becomes rounder, you get a mix of red and black fruits, and raspberries.  You still get the minerality and pepperiness.
Length: A medium-plus length finishing with red fruits, some pepperiness and cedar flavours, and very light tannins. More black fruit and some capsicum on the finish with decanting, along with the other mentioned flavours.

Decanting or not is OK for this wine.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars A medium intensity nose with ripe red fruit, sweet spices, and black cherry aromas.  Dry with a light body.  Red fruits, black cherry, and plum flavours, with a touch of chocolate.

Chateau Tasting Notes From January 2021

Roche Wines Chateau 2017 (BC $49.90)

A dull, deep, about 80% opaque, garnet colour (the wine is unfined and unfiltered).  This wine has a medium intensity nose with a mix of black cherries and cassis fruits; lightly smoky.  With swirling the aromas trend more toward black fruit and I did pick up some milk chocolate.  After decanting the aromas were lighter, and primarily cassis, nutmeg and smokiness.  This wine is slightly off-dry, you can detect the sweet fruit throughout the sip.  It has a medium-plus body and flavour intensity.  Semi-round with firmer tannins that are evident from start to finish.  You get a mix of red and black fruit, and a touch of floral, raspberries, oak, and salty minerality.  With swirling, you get more black fruit flavours.  The wine is rounder with decanting plus the salty minerality is more evident.  The fruits that stood out are raspberries, plums and ripe black fruit.  This wine has a medium-plus length finishing with a mix of sweet red and black fruit, nutmeg, a touch of oak and pepperiness, and quite firm dry tannins.  The tannins were less drying with decanting.  I think giving this wine some decanting gives you a nicer sip. This wine will age well and be tasting very nicely over 2-4 years.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars A bigger companion to nuances.  It has a lightly smoky nose.  Plums and a mix of red & black fruit on nose and palate.  Fuller bodied. Firmer tannins that can lead to a longer ageing potential.
Differences and Similarities?
So what differences or similarities do I note over 5 months?  The tannins are now softer. Many of the aromas and flavours still match up, with black fruit being more prominent with decanting. The minerality is there.  A top-quality wine that I think you can enjoy now with decanting, or as I mentioned in January, you could age for 2-4 years.

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

These wines are available to order from their website.   

Thank you to Roche Wines for providing me these wines to 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.