A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 798: Little Engine with a Big Reputation

Little Engine wines

Little Engine is a small winery in Penticton, BC, owned by Steven French and his wife, Nicole. They’re located at the southern entrance of the Naramata Bench. Their winemaker is Scott Robinson. (See https://www.littleenginewines.com/)

A stunningly good Sauvignon Blanc

Little Engine Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($34.00)
Pale straw in colour; grassy, lanolin and green plum nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, passionfruit and gooseberry flavours; vibrant and mouth-freshening. Very white Bordeaux in style. (93)

Little Engine French Family Release Chardonnay 2020 ($36.00)
Light straw in colour; minerally, slightly salty nose of green apple; medium-bodied, dry, fresh and lively on the palate with apple and pear flavours. Great mouth-feel, vivid, lingering and beautifully balanced. Chablis-esque. (90)

Little Engine Gold Chardonnay 2018 ($57.00)
Light golden straw in colour; toasty, spicy nose of apple and melon with nuances of oak with barnyard notes (very Burgundian); medium-bodied, mouth-filling, creamy flavours of apple, toast and lemon; rich and elegant with a caressing mouth-feel and an unconscionably long finish. (93)

Little Engine Silver Union 2018 ($50.00)
Merlot (68%), Cabernet Franc (30%), and Malbec (2%). Dense purple in colour; cedary, lightly toasty, black fruit and blackcurrant aromas on the nose with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, juicy and richly extracted blackberry, plum and blackcurrant flavours with well-integrated oak. Well-structured with soft tannins, lovely mouth-feel with a finish of dark chocolate and coffee bean. (92)

Little Engine Gold Pinot Noir 2018 ($67.00)
Deep ruby-plum in colour; minerally, struck-flint nose of black raspberries with a suggestion of vanilla oak; medium to full-bodied, dry, ripe raspberry and black raspberry flavours carried on lively acidity, a well-balanced wine with good length and dusty tannins. (89)

Little Engine Gold Merlot 2018 ($62.00)
Deep ruby colour; cedary, spicy, plum bouquet with evident new oak; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted, ripe plum and black cherry flavours; well-balanced with just enough oak to give it a roundness and rich mouth-feel, finishing on a mocha note. (90)

Other wines tasted:

Château Hourtou 2015 ($19.95, Côtes de Bourg, Vintages #630038)
Deep ruby in colour; cedary, toasty, black fruits on the nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, plum and vanilla flavours. (89.5)

Malivoire Stouck Viognier 2020

Malivoire Stouck Viognier 2020 ($24.95, Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara)
Bright straw colour; honeysuckle and peach bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, perfumed, spicy, peach and melon flavours with lively acidity and a mouth-freshening finish. (90)

Malivoire Stouck Merlot 2017

Malivoire Stouck Merlot 2017 ($34.95, Lincoln Lakeshore)
Deep purple-ruby in colour; cedary, spicy, plum and cherry nose; medium-bodied, dry, black cherry flavour with soft, ripe tannins carried on lively acidity; a firmly structured wine. (89)

Familia Torres Cos Perpetual 2017

Familia Torres Cos Perpetual 2017 (Priorat)
Cariñena and Garnacha Tinta. Dense purple-ruby colour; black raspberry nose with oak spice and dark chocolate notes; full-bodied, savoury, black fruit flavours with ripe tannins and lively acidity. Firmly structured. (90)

Speck Brothers Family Tree “The Bootlegger” Baco Noir 2020

Speck Brothers Family Tree “The Bootlegger” Baco Noir 2020 (Ontario, $17.95, Vintages #16791)
Dense purple colour; toasty, cedary, blackberry nose with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, juicy, herb-tinged  blackberry flavour with fresh acidity. (89)

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