Moon Curser Vineyards is a boutique, family-owned winery on the East Bench of Osoyoos. The Moon Curser name pays tribute to the gold smuggling history of Osoyoos (Is there gold still to be found?). During the gold rush, it was the dark of night that brought commotion to the area.
Moon Curser Vineyards has the benefit of a very warm climate so that they can grow grapes that cooler parts of BC cannot grow, such as Arneis and Viognier. I have in fact Moon Curser’s Arneis 2020 and Viognier 2020 to taste, but unfortunately, they have such a strong reputation that this vintage is sold out already at the winery. A few private stores carry the wines which I will list at the bottom of the article. I am going to tell you about these two wines, and hopefully give you an idea of what you could expect when they release the 2021 (still on the vine) vintage next year once they become widely available.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Moon Curser Vineyards Arneis 2020 ($27.44 at BC Wine Info Centre)
I think that this wine when first bottled and was reviewed at competitions showed much more aromas than at the time that I am tasting it. I think that the wine has gone to sleep, and may then bloom again with more aromas. If you have a bottle of this wine, you may want to hold on to it for maybe 6-12 months.
Appearance: A medium intensity mix of lemon and pear skin.
Nose: A very light intensity nose, with pears primarily, some other stone fruits, and apple aromas. The nose still stayed very closed after decanting.
Palate: Dry, round, with a thicker mouthfeel. It has a quite prominent acidic prickle. Light pear and peach flavours, along with a hint of orange and apple skin. There is some bitterness on the mid-palate and wet stones toward the finish. The flavours of this wine remained the same after decanting.
Finish: Wet stones, citrus, lemon pith, black currant leaf, and some bitterness. Again the same finish after decanting.
Rating: – Very light aromas of pears mainly, some apples and other stone fruits. Dry with a round, thicker mouthfeel and prominent acidic prickle. Pears and peach with a touch of orange, some bitterness, with citrus pith and black currant leaf on the finish.
Moon Curser Vineyards Viognier 2020 ($24.99 at BC Wine Info Centre)
Appearance: A medium intensity Bosc pear skin colour.
Nose: A medium-plus intensity nose, with deep aromas of honey, stone fruits, dried apricots, and some grape stem. Lots of tropical fruit / pineapple, along with honey on the nose with decanting.
Palate: This wine is off-dry with a thicker, rich round mouthfeel and texture. There is a light acidic prickle on your tongue as well. The wine starts off with pear, apricot and honey flavours, but with air, the wine flavours become more tropical. There is also some stoniness toward the finish. The wine lightens a bit, becoming medium-bodied with decanting. Still round but a lighter mouthfeel tastes drier and has a lighter acidic prickle on your tongue. Lots of tropical fruit flavours.
Finish: A medium length finishing with a sweet touch, along with pepperiness, stone fruit and pineapple, then pears at the very end.
I prefer the undecanted version as it has a wider variety of aromas and flavours, but if you are a fan of tropical fruits and maybe a lighter-bodied wine, give this wine some decant time.
Rating: – without decanting. Medium intensity deep ripe aromas of stone fruits along with honey and some grape stem. Fuller bodied, off-dry with a rich, round mouthfeel. Stone and tropical fruit flavours as well as some acidic prickle on your tongue.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
These wines are sold out at the winery. I am not sure, but the Viognier may be available at the Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown. The website lists 2019 as the vintage, but it could be 2020. The BC Wine Info Centre in Penticton appears to have both the Arneis and Viognier 2020. These wines may be at other private wine shops, but you need to ask.