A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 871: Tender Hope Winery

Tender Hope Wines

Deb Murray on her website Year In Wine writes:

It has been a while since I enjoyed a Cabernet Sauvignon as much as I enjoyed the 2018 Phinny Hill Cabernet Sauvignon from Tender Hope Winery. This wine is made in BC but the grapes are from Phinny Hill Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) in Washington.

Tender Hope Winery is relatively new to the BC wine scene. The wine industry however is not new for owner and winemaker, Ephraim Perel, who has more than twenty-five years experience as grower, cellar hand and winemaker.

Ephraim was born in Israel and he fell in love with wine twenty-seven years ago while he was living in Spain. His passion for wine has taken him around the globe, but now he and his family have settled in the Okanagan Valley. Prior to starting his own winery in 2016, Ephraim worked at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Nagging Doubt Winery and 1st R.O.W. Estate Winery.

Tender Hope Winery is named after Ephraim’s daughter, Rou Xi, which when translated from Chinese means tender hope. This small winery was born from the desire to create special wines with the hope that people would enjoy them while gathered with friends and family.

With the rising cost of real estate in BC, it is cost prohibitive to own vineyards, especially for young wineries just starting out. So Tender Hope currently works with eight vineyards located in the Okanagan and the Columbia Valley. Ephraim works with growers whom he feels a connection to – those that share the same philosophy for growing as he has.

Ephraim believes that good grapes and special vineyards create the best wines. When making wine, he strives to let the fruit shine, using traditional winemaking methods with minimal intervention. He states, “the way I look at it is that the fruit is the painting and the oak and tannins are the frame holding it up.”

Tender Hope Tender Summer 2021 (Okanagan Valley)
69% Riesling, 27% Chardonnay, 4% Sauvignon Blanc. Bright straw colour; honey, citrus nose of lime and grapefruit with a kiss of oak; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green apple and grapefruit flavours; long in the mouth with a racy citrus finish. (90)

Tender Hope Chardonnay 2021 (Okanagan Valley)
Bright straw in colour; toasty, cashew nut and apple nose with a hint of vanilla oak; medium-bodied, spicy, apple and green peach flavours; beautifully balanced with well-integrated oak; an elegant wine with great energy. Perfect food wine. (91)

Tender Hope Roussanne 2018 (Columbia Valley, Washington)
Light golden colour; slightly reductive, toasty, apple bouquet with a top note of jasmine; medium to full-bodied, dry, honeyed melon and pink grapefruit flavours and a touch of nuttiness on the finish. Lovely mouth-feel. (90)

Tender Hope Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Columbia Valley, Washington)
Deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, toasty, blackcurrant nose with evident oak; medium to full-bodied, dry, well-extracted black fruit flavours with balancing acidity; ripe tannins give the wine structure and ageability, (90–92)

Tender Hope Midnight Black Syrah 2018 (Columbia Valley, Washington)
Deep purple ruby in colour; smoky, toasty blackberry/blackcurrant nose with oak spice and herbal notes; full-bodied, richly extracted, savoury, blackberry, black licorice flavours; beautifully balanced and firmly structured with ripe tannins. Great length. (91–93)

Tender Hope Fire Dance Meritage 2020 (Okanagan Valley)
56% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 13% Malbec. Deep ruby in colour; cedary, black plum and currant nose with oak spice and a floral note; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured, richly extracted blackcurrant, black fruits and tobacco leaf flavours. Beautifully balanced. (91–93)

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