Pairing Two Mt. Boucherie Big Red Wines with Grilled Ribeye Steak

What goes best with a grilled ribeye steak? A big red wine.  Well, I am lucky to have two big red wines from Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery in West Kelowna.  I received their 2018 Merlot and 2018 Reserve Syrah to review on their own, but wine is meant to be enjoyed with food, so I grilled a ribeye steak and tried both wines to see if one or both were good matches.  Let me review the wines first.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Merlot 2018 (BC $24.99)

Their 2018 Merlot was farmed in multiple sites in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, Osoyoos, Golden Mile, Okanagan Falls, and South Cawston. Aged in a blend of 25% new French oak and 75% neutral French and American oak. Aged on its lees for 6 months.

Appearance: Almost completely opaque garnet colour in the glass.
Nose:  Medium-plus intensity aromas of ripe red fruits, sweet spices, and touches of oak, cedar, and toast. The aromas are slightly lighter, you get smokiness, cinnamon spice, black and red fruits, and a touch of oak with decanting.
Palate: This wine is dry, semi-round, with a smooth mouthfeel and lighter, fine intensity tannins that get stronger toward the finish.  You get more blackberry than raspberry flavours, along with black cherry and oak.  The fruit flavours have a bright zippiness to them.  You get some black fruit and light pepperiness on the mid-palate that continues to the finish. With decanting you get more black fruits and blackberry flavours from start to finish, Not quite as smooth as the tannins are firmer, but gives the wine more structure and power.  
Finish: A medium-plus length finishing with red fruit, firmer tannins, oak followed by cedar flavours and light pepperiness. Firmer tannins on the finish, with light pepperiness, black fruits, and cedar flavours.
An excellent quality wine with nice flavours and structure upon opening. 
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars A solid red wine that delivers with red fruits, sweet spices and touches of oak and cedar aromas.  Lighter bodied, smooth with light roundness.  Tasty blackberries, ripe raspberries and black fruit flavours.  Pepperiness and oak on the finish.
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Merlot 2018 and Reserve Syrah 2018 with wines in glasses

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Merlot 2018 and Reserve Syrah 2018 with wines in glasses

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Reserve Syrah 2018 (BC $44.99)

Their 2018 Reserve Syrah was farmed from the Lazy River Vineyard in the Similkameen and Summer Breeze Vineyard in Osoyoos. A barrel blend of their favourites. Aged in French and American oak, 25% of which was new.

Appearance: Almost completely opaque garnet colour in the glass, just like the Merlot.
Nose: Medium-minus intensity aromas of purple fruit plus touches of black pepper and oak. Same aromas and intensity after decanting.
Palate: Dry, but very silky, round, plush and soft.  Light acidity and fine light tannins.  The mouthfeel mesmerizes you before you notice the fruit, you then enjoy the fruit flavours.  Medium-plus intensity flavours of raspberries, red fruit, which transition to black fruits, plums, and light sweet spices flavours. A touch of oak as well.  Still a silky plush wine, but the tannins increase to medium intensity.  There are lots of juicy black fruit flavours and nutmeg spice is obvious.
Finish: A medium-plus length with that plush mouthfeel to the end.  Light sweet spices, a touch of oak and a mix of ripe black fruit and some bright fruit flavours.  Fine tannins. Firmer tannins on the finish with decanting, and same fruit flavours.
A very seductive wine.  To decant or not is a personal choice.  Decanting gives you stronger tannins, which can be better for pairing with grilled meats.  This wine has a nice solid cork which also shows the quality the winery puts into this wine.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars Light intensity ripe purple fruit and touches of black pepper and oak aromas.  The mouthfeel mesmerizes you before you notice the fruit, you then enjoy the fruit flavours.  Raspberries and red fruits that transition to black fruit.  You also get a touch of sweet spices.  Delicious. 

Wine and Steak Pairing

Grilled ribeye steak paired with Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Merlot 2018 (L) and Reserve Syrah 2018 (R)

Grilled ribeye steak paired with Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery Merlot 2018 (L) and Reserve Syrah 2018 (R)

Which wine worked better with my grilled ribeye steak?  On the steak, I had a mix of salt and sweet bbq flavours.  These flavours meshed nicely with the stronger tannins of the Merlot.  The sweetness of the bbq and the riper, sweeter fruit flavours and lighter tannins of the Syrah did not bring out anything extra either from the wine or the tannins.  
Pork Chop Bonus Round!  I also grilled a pork chop to try with these two wines, but this time the wines are decanted.  With the decanting, as mentioned above both wines have stronger tannins and stronger black fruit flavours.  But how did that affect this pairing?  The Merlot tannins and black fruit flavours were too strong for the pork chop.  I did not get much taste from the marinade of the chop, nor much complement from the texture of the chop.  The Reserve Syrah pairing was excellent.  The ripe sweet black fruit flavours and the firmer tannins (less than the Merlot), meshed very well with the texture of the chop and the marinade flavours.  Delicious.
What can I say about this food pairing experiment?  The Reserve Syrah may have been the better pairing for both the steak and the pork chop if I had decanted the wine.  The undecanted Merlot may have been better for both the steak and the pork chop.  It is important I think for you to check reviews of wines if you can before you purchase the wine to find out what the undecanted and decanted aroma and flavour profile, including tannin strength, is for the wine.  Most wineries and reviewers, besides me, provide the undecanted wine aroma and flavour profile.  So purchase based on that criteria.  If you do decant your wine, be sure to check my reviews, and reviews of the few others that provide notes on decanting.  I hope you enjoyed this review and will enjoy these wines with your bbq over the summer.

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

The 2018 Reserve Syrah is available for purchase from the Mt. Boucherie website.  The 2018 Merlot is available from the Mt. Boucherie website. The Merlot is also available at the Swirl Wine Store and at Everything Wine. These wines may be available at other private wine shops, but you need to ask.

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.