The past week was a busy one with a bevy of British Columbia wines finding their way to Wines in Niagara for tasting. It’s such a shame that we can’t get 99% of the wines made in the Okanagan (unless you order direct) and other regions of B.C. because there are a lot of really interesting things going on there.
Okanagan Crush Pad, which makes the Haywire wines reviewed below, announced this week plans to expand its presence to include the Prairie Provinces and a foray into Europe.
More than 30% of visitors to the winery last year were from Alberta, and the winery wants to ensure these visitors can discover Okanagan Crush Pad wines when they return home.
Alberta-based Magnum Wine & Spirits has been appointed OCP’s sale agent for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with a focus on launching the winery’s Haywire wines. The agency was established in 2012 by veteran sales executive Don Bryant and represents many fine imported wine and spirits including Ontario’s iconic Cave Spring Cellars.
In March, the winery team will make its first sales push into the European market, debuting at ProWein Dusseldorf. At ProWein, the team will be showcasing their Haywire natural wines made from Switchback Organic Vineyard, in addition to an Ancient Method sparkling wine from their Narrative portfolio.
Representing the winery will be winery co-owned Christine Coletta, her daughter Alison Scholefield, was well as David Scholefield, and Michael West.
Okanagan Crush Pad’s consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini will also be attending ProWein, showcasing his Tuscan portfolio, Poggiotondo.
Following Prowein, Okanagan Crush Pad has been accepted as an exhibitor at the exclusive UK artisan wine fair, RAW London, May 15 and 16; and the winery will also participate at a Canadian wine tasting to be held at Canada House in London on May 24.
We have new wine reviews for Haywire, JoieFarm and Township 7, three excellent B.C. wine producers.
Haywire Gamay Noir 2014 ($27, 91 points) — From the estate’s Secrest Mountain Vineyard in Oliver, this Gamay shows lovely and pure aromatics of ripe plums, wild berries and bramble. On the palate the plum and currant fruits are carried on a bed of soft tannins. A totally gulpable Gamay that’s even better slightly chilled.
Haywire Canyonview Vineyard Raised in Concrete Pinot Noir 2013 ($40, 90 points) — This Pinot is fermented in small batches and aged in concrete tanks for 12 months. The aromas range from cassis and wild raspberry to herbs and savoury notes. It’s tasty on the palate with red currants, cherry and earth with silky smooth tannins through the finish.
Haywire Waters & Banks Pinot Noir 2014 ($40, 92 points) — Winemaker Matt Dumayne has constructed a pretty, subtle, nuanced and minerally-driven beauty here. The nose shows gently crushed cherry, crunchy raspberry and wild berry fruit that builds in intensity as it opens up in the glass. This is an elegant Pinot with gorgeous texture that carries nuanced red fruits, subtle earthy notes and spice along a smooth foundation of supple tannins. Fantastic Pinot.
Haywire Pink Bub 2014 ($30, 90 points) — Made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a tiny drop of Syrah as the dosage. The colour is pale salmon with a tight and steady stream of bubbles and a nose of strawberries, raspberries, bramble and a subtle herbaceous note. On the palate there is an earthy note to go with a basket of vigorous red fruits that’s more fresh and lively than austere.
JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2013 ($30, 92 points) — The En Famille top tier Chardonnay is a 10-barrel selection from Joie’s most-prized vineyard site, Con Vida, from the Skaha Bluff terroir. It has a gorgeous nose of apple, pear, roasted cashew, subtle vanilla, pineapple and a note of saline minerality. Such lovely texture on the palate with lightly toasted spice, creamy pear, crisp apple and tingling citrus acidity. This is a personable, delightful Chardonnay, a celebration of the vineyard and the Okanagan. Bravo.
JoieFarm Viognier 2014 ($28, 93 points) — The grapes for this sensational Viognier come from a Summerland vineyard farmed by Joie’s viticulture team. The vineyard is cropped to low yields to maximize ripeness while maintaining high acidity. Such a nose of apricot, honeysuckle, melon, peach and guava. It has some viscosity on the palate with luscious texture and layers of exotic tropical fruits, mineral and citrus to go with integrated spice notes that’s all lifted by juicy acidity. Super exciting Vio.
JoieFarm En Famille Reserve Gewurztraminer 2013 ($27, 91 points) — This completes the En Famille wines being released by Joie this year. The owners decided not release a Pinot reserve due to a difficult Pinot vintage and declassified all fruit to the regular bottling. This Gew has a rich and spicy nose of cloves, lychee, rose petals, musk, pear and grapefruit. It is off-dry on the palate but lifted by moderate acidity that accentuates the ripe pear, grapefruit, lychee and nutmeg/clove spices. It has wonderful length and texture.
Township 7 Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2014 ($25, 90 points) — The fruit comes from the famed Sundial Vineyard on the Black Sage Road and blended with another Black Sage Bench property. It has a pretty nose of green apple, pineapple, lemon and subtle integrated spice. It has a creamy feel on the palate, with a mélange of orchard fruit, apricot and citrus with a range of barrel spices. Good acidity gives this delicious Chard lift on the finish.
Township 7 Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Blue Terrace Vineyard 2013 ($24, 89 points) — Enticing nose of ripe black currants, black cherry, barrel spices and cigar box cedar. It has a mouthful of tannins and is backed up by substantial dark fruits, licorice and savoury spices. A bit of time in the cellar will help this wine develop and come together.