A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 791: Hillside Winery

I tasted six wines from Hillside Winery in Penticton, BC.

Hillside Gewürztraminer 2020 Hillside Series (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Bright, pale straw in colour; aromatic, honeysuckle, ginger nose; medium-bodied, dry, floral, grapefruit, lychee and rose petal flavours; true varietal character, lively acidity and good length. Drink now or over the next two years. (90)

Hillside Muscat Ottonel 2019 Heritage Series (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Vines planted in 1984. Very pale straw; spicy, floral nose of honeydew melon; crisply dry, aromatic, melon and floral flavours carried on lively acidity; beautifully balanced, lovely mouth-feel and a long, lingering fresh finish. Drink now and through 2021. (91)

Hillside Viognier Heritage Series 2019 (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Pale straw in colour; minerally, peach pit nose with a suggestion of oak; medium-bodied, dry, spicy, white peach flavour; mouth-freshening acidity with a long finish. Drink now and through 2021. (90)

Hillside Merlot Hillside Series 2018 (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Dense purple colour; cedary, vanilla, black cherry nose with oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, juicy, black cherry flavour with a savoury note of bitter chocolate; lively acidity and firmly structured with ripe tannins. Drinking now but will reward with 1–2 years in the cellar. (89)

Hillside Merlot Malbec 2018 (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Dense purple in colour; cedary, lightly spicy, black plum bouquet; medium to full-bodied, plum and milk chocolate flavours with lively acidity. Firmly structured with grainy tannins. Hold 1–2 years. (89)

Hillside Pinot Noir Heritage Series 2018 (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley)
Deep ruby in colour; tea leaf and black raspberry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, ripe strawberry flavour caried on lively acidity. Bitter chocolate tannins on the finish. Can be enjoyed now but will develop more bouquet with 1–2 years of bottle age that will allow the tannins to soften and integrate. (89–90)

Also tasted:

Tiny Batch Wine The Mermaid Skin Fermented Gewurztraminer Orange Wine 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara, $35)
Hazy, coppery-orange in colour; slightly reductive, nutty, lychee nose with an earthy note; medium-bodied, dry, rich lychee flavour with a floral top note; mouth-freshening acidity, great length and stricture. Like biting into a lychee nut, skin and all. (90)

Haywire Gamay 2018 (Okanagan Valley)
Bright ruby colour; lightly cedary, spicy, cherry bouquet with a struck flint note; medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, juicy cherry and red plum flavours with lively acidity and a lovely mouth feel. Great length. (90)

Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered 2015 (Douro Valley)
Deep purple-ruby in colour; spicy, mulberry nose with evident oak and a spirit-y note; full-bodied, sweet cassis and mulberry flavours; beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak and supple tannins ending on a note of milk chocolate. (91)


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