Hester Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 and Merlot 2022 for the HolidaysPR SAMPLE 

Hester Creek Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 label
Hester Creek Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 label

I have two bigger red BC wines for you to consider for your holiday festivities: Hester Creek Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 and their Merlot 2022.  Let me tell you about them.  Did you notice the difference in the labels?  The Cabernet Sauvignon label has extra info about the wine. This wine is from their Storied Series, so each label tells a bit of the story about the winemaking process via the three callouts on the front label and the write-up on the back. First callout: Blocks 7+8 – coming from Blocks 7 and 8 on their estate property. Second callout: 16 – The handpicked grapes were fermented for 16 days and aged for 16 months in French oak. Third callout: shows a large grape and a small one. They really limit the irrigation on these vines, which results in smaller, more concentrated berries. As such, the icon depicts a smaller-than-average grape to represent the smaller berries.

My Wine Tasting Notes

I always taste wines I review twice.  The first time upon opening and then the second time, the next day.  For these two wines, the decant time was an extra day in length and shows how well these wines present themselves with exposure to the air.  The Merlot comes with a screw cap so quick and easy to open, while the Cabernet Sauvignon comes with a nice solid piece of cork.

Hester Creek Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (2020 vintage @ BC $34.99)

Appearance:  A dull, opaque garnet colour. Teardrops are visible on the sides of the glass after swirling.
Nose: Medium-intensity, complex evolving aromas, showing, capsicum, tomato soup, red fruit, red currants, and touches of leather, blackberries, and sweet spices.  A cedar aroma becomes quite prominent after decanting, while the other aromas become lighter except for the red fruits.  There is also now, no tomato soup or leather component.
Palate: Dry, medium-plus body, smooth, soft and round.  Lightly mouth-filling.  Quite prominent salty minerality.  Berries, black plums, blackberries and cherry flavours along with touches of red currents, nutmeg, capsicum, floral, and vanilla.  Light acidity and medium strength tannins that firm up quickly to the finish. With decanting you lose the red current, capsicum and minerality from the undecanted wine. The other flavours as well as the smooth soft roundness of the wine remain.
Finish: Medium-plus length with quite drying tannins; a grippy finish.  Tart red fruit and berry flavours on the finish. You can add red cherry flavour to the finish after decanting. 

An interesting wine that is evolving in the bottle and with decanting.  I enjoyed both the undecanted and decanted versions, but I give my preference to the undecanted version as I like the leather and tomato soup aromas and the salty minerality on the palate.

Rating: 4.5 stars  A deeply garnet coloured wine.  It has a complex evolving nose with a mix of capsicum, tomato soup, red fruit, red currants, and touches of leather, blackberries, and sweet spices upon opening. Dry, medium-plus body, soft and round mouthfeel.  A mix of berries, plums and cherry fruits, along with sweet spices, capsicum, floral, and salty minerality.  Medium-intensity tannins that firm up on the finish. Medium-plus length.

Hester Creek Estate Winery Merlot 2022 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 with wines in glasses
Hester Creek Estate Winery Merlot 2022 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 with wines in glasses

Hester Creek Estate Winery Merlot 2022 (2021 vintage for sale @ BC $19.99)

Appearance: A deep, clear ruby colour.  About 80% opaque.
Nose: Medium-minus intensity aromas of juicy berries, black tea leaves, and black plums along with hints of oak and floral with swirling. No change after decanting.
Palate: This wine is dry, medium-plus body, with a smooth, soft, round mouthfeel.  Not quite mouth-filling.  Lower acidity and medium intensity tannins.  Red fruit, berries, raspberries, red plums and hints of floral and oak on the palate. The wine becomes quite floral after decanting.  The other flavours and the smooth, round texture of the wine remain unchanged.
Finish: Medium-length finishing with very light tannins.  More acidity than tannins on the finish.  Plums and berries with a hint of perfume and pepperiness at the very end.  The tannins become slightly firmer after decanting.

The decanted version of this wine is a bit nicer if you enjoy a floral flavour component to your wine.

Rating: 4 stars  A Merlot that has nice juicy berry fruit aromas and flavours.  A touch of floral to start that gets stronger with decanting.  Smooth soft, and round on the palate with medium-intensity tannins.  Medium length.


I did try these two wines with Cambozola cheese.  The cheese made the red fruit flavours stand out from the undecanted version of the Cabernet Sauvignon, while the decanted version of the Merlot was complementary with the flavours of the cheese.  I found it quite interesting that even decant time affects how well the wines pair with the cheese.  You may want to experiment with this as well as with other wines you try.

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

The previous vintage of both wines is currently for sale on the Hester Creek website.  The new vintages should come out soon. The Merlot is listed at select Everything Wine stores but does not mention the vintage. BC Liquor stores list the 2019 vintage Merlot for sale. Maybe you can assemble a mini-vertical of the Merlot by buying from different stores?  Enjoy.

Author: mywinepal
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.