Quick Review: Upper Bench Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Upper Bench Winery cork

Upper Bench Winery cork

I checked the 7-day weather forecast for Vancouver, and it is RAIN every day. So time for me to open a big red wine. In this case, I opened the Upper Bench Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. It is 4 years old already and has many years left in it. This wine does have 5% Merlot in the blend to add some roundness.  I also like to point out nice, solid, corks when I see them.  This wine uses a great quality cork.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Upper Bench Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (BC $41.99 at Swirl Wine Store)

Upper Bench Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 with wine in glass

Upper Bench Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 with wine in glass

Only 164 cases of this wine were produced.  The wine was aged for 21 months in French oak, with 30% in new barrels. Un-fined.

Appearance: A dull, almost opaque garnet in colour.
Nose: A medium-plus intensity nose. Nice aromas; sweet spices, ripe cassis, plums, sweet berries, plus oak and a touch of vanilla. With decanting the aromas become a bit lighter.  I get a mix of sweet spices, dark cherries, cassis, plums, and a touch of cocoa.
Palate: Dry, lighter-bodied, that gets rounder the more you swirl it. The tannins also start off soft, but with air, they become much firmer and drying. Ripe berries, black fruit, and ripe raspberry flavours, along with some minerality and chocolate with air. Medium acidity. The one really gets a floral tone with decanting, plus red cherries and candied red cherry flavour, and a touch of vanilla.  The tannins become a bit lighter on the palate but still finish firm.  The wine is round, but not mouthfilling.
Finish: A medium plus length with firmer drying tannins, and cassis plus plums and oak flavours. Decanting does not diminish the tannins; still as strong as ever.  You still get cassis flavour, but not plums, which is replaced by cherries.

An interesting change in the wine with decanting.  I think the wine is a bit more finesse with decanting.  A bit lighter intensity aromas and flavours, and maybe a wider range.  But the tannins are still firm.  I’d recommend buying this wine and keeping it for another 4 years before opening.  So 8 years of bottle ageing.  A quality wine.

UPDATE: After 48 hours of opening the tannins have relented and I get lots of juicy berry flavours and bright acidity.  So if you are willing to decant this bottle for a long time, you will be rewarded.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars A finesse wine with decanting.  Almost opaque garnet colour.  A medium-plus intensity nose with aromas of sweet spices, dark cherries, cassis, and plums.  Lighter bodied and dry.  The wine gets rounder and the tannins gets firmer with air.  With decanting you get a nice floral component along with red cherries, candied red cherries, ripe berries, and some minerality.  Drying tannins on the finish.   

Where Can I Buy This Wine?

This wine is sold out at the winery, but Swirl Wine Store has this wine in stock. This wine may also be available at various restaurants and 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.

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