A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 708: Bench 1775 in Naramata, BC


My kind of globe!

Wines tasted this week:

  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2016 (California): Straw-coloured with a minerally, apple bouquet, spicy oak and undergrowth notes; medium to full-bodied, peachy-orange and pineapple flavours. (90)
  • Burrowing Owl Chardonnay 2016 (Okanagan Valley): Bright straw colour; spicy, oaky apple and pear nose; medium-bodied, dry, apple and pear flavours with citrus acidity and good length. (89)
  • Black Hills Alias 2017 (Okanagan – Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Schoenberger, Muscat, Ehrenfelser – $24): Pale straw in colour; spicy, aromatic, melon and lychee bouquet; medium-bodied, almost dry, spicy orange and honeysuckle and melon flavours finishing on a grapefruit note. (89)
  • Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Okanagan Valley): Deep ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose backed by oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, well-balanced, savoury blackcurrant flavour. (89)
  • Villa Raiano Taurasi 2012 (Campania – 100% Aglianico): Deep ruby in colour; cedary, blackberry nose, slightly herbal with floral notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, plum and prune flavours with lively acidity, finishing on a bitter chocolate note. (89)
  • Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2015 (Tuscany – $33.95): Dense purple-ruby in colour; cedary, blackberry, nose; medium-bodied, well-extracted fruit flavours, firmly structured, creamy mouth-feel. (90)
  • Quadras Douro 2013: Deep purple in color; savoury, blackberry with a herbal note; medium-full-bodied, dry, plum, prune and dark chocolate flavours. (88.5)

Tasting at Michael Vaughan’s house on October 2, 2018:

  • Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2015: Deep ruby; earthy, lightly spicy, oak-driven, floral, plum; full-bodied, dry, black raspberry with firm, grainy tannins. (88)
  • Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2015 (magnum): Deep ruby, more floral, spicy, richer mouth-feel, full-bodied, dry, plum flavour.  (89)
  • Monte Antico 2014: Deep purple in colour; earthy, savoury, inky, blackberry nose with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, slightly green tinged fruit with fresh acidity. (88)
  • Monte Antico 2013 (magnum – 85% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot,10% Cabernet Sauvignon): Deep ruby in colour; earthy, touch bitter, plum nose; medium-bodied, dry, lean, sour cherry and red plum flavour. (89)
  • Monte de Fra Bardolino 2016 (Sangiovese, Merlot): ruby colour; earthy-leafy, raspberry nose with a floral note; light to medium-bodied, dry, raspberry flavour with a firm finish. (87)

Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir 2014

At lunch (Canoe restaurant) with Barinder Singh Sall, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Canada at Mark Anthony Group, I tasted Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir 2014 (Okanagan Valley – $100): Deep ruby in colour with a spicy, black raspberry nose lifted with vanilla oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, well-textured, harmonious, juicy and elegant with a lovely mouth-feel. Not Burgundian in style but unmistakably Pinot Noir from the New World. (93)

Wines from Bench 1775 in Naramata, BC:

  • Bench 1775 Sauvignon Blanc 2017: Pale straw in colour; herbaceous, green plum bouquet; medium-bodied, fresh and lively on the palate with a green peach flavour, lemony acidity and an engaging floral note. Great length and fine mouth-feel. Very white Bordeaux in style. Drink now or within two years. (90)
  • Bench 1775 Semillon 2016: Pale straw colour; slightly reductive nose of lanolin, green tobacco and green apple; medium-bodied, dry, crisp and minerally with a suggestion of salt on the finish. Zesty acidity and a little brittle on the end taste. Drinking nicely now. (89)
  • Bench 1775 Viognier 2016 (with 5% Pinot Gris): Light straw colour with a bouquet of honeysuckle, melon and peach and a thread of minerality (the reductive notes blow off quickly); medium-bodied, aromatic, peachy-melon flavour carried on lively acidity. Drink now. (90)
  • Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc-Malbec 2015: Dense ruby-purple colour; cedary, leafy, black plum nose; full-bodied, smoky, licorice and black fruit flavours; rich mouth-feel with well-extracted ripe fruit flavours kept in check by charred oak notes, ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Drinking well now but can hold for 2 – 3 years. (90)
  • Bench 1775 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2015: Dense ruby colour; cedary, gently herbal, blackberry and currant nose with vanilla oak spice; full-bodied, dry, savoury-herbal, blackberry flavour with a tarry note; very much in St. Joseph style. Mouth-filling and richly satisfying, finishing with chewy tannins. Hold 1–2 years. (92)
  • Bench 1775 Merlot 2014: Deep, dark ruby colour; cedary, blueberry nose with a light floral note backed by oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry and savoury with dark chocolate and blueberry flavours, well-balanced with nicely integrated oak and finishing on cocoa powder tannins. Great structure. Hold 2–3 years. (93)

Bench 1775 Merlot 2014

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