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B.C. wines in review: JoieFarm, Tinhorn Creek, Monte Creek Ranch and Township 7


JoieFarm officially opened up its Naramata farm to the public for the first time in 10 years this past spring.

Owner and proprietor Heidi Noble said she’s “thrilled to be offering hospitality again and re-connecting directly with our customers with our new Farmhouse Tasting Room and Joie Picnique area.”

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In celebration of the opening, Noble crated a sparkling wine called Plein de Vie, a sparkling wine only available at the farm.

The Brut 2014 is a lovely fresh style of bubbly with notes of cherry, citrus and raspberry made in a crisp, fresh style.

Here are reviews from Joie’s most recently released wines, plus reviews for Tinhorn Creek, Township 7 and Monte Creek Ranch following those.

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JoieFarm “En Famille” Pinot Noir Reserve 2012 ($40, 92 points) — Now, this is something. A nose of black cherry, currants, cranberry, crunchy raspberry and a lovely gaminess with loam, earth and savoury spices. It’s like silk on the palate and laced with cherry and black currants in a vibrant, focused style that’s not afraid to show its funky, spicy side. Buy and hold for five years plus.

JoieFarm “En Famille” Gewurztraminer Reserve 2012 ($28, 93 points) — The key to good Gew is always finding the right balance between ripe and fresh. Joie always gets it right. The nose shows lychee, cloves, grapefruit, nutmeg with a range of tropical fruits. It’s unctuous but surprisingly fresh on the palate with a basket of tropical fruits and exciting, exotic spices with everything in balance.

JoieFarm Riesling 2013 ($23, 91 points) — An attractive nose of grapefruit, lime, some tropical notes and beautiful minerality. It’s electric on the palate with pulpy lime, ginger, mango and river-rock minerality with a touch of wild honey on the finish.

JoieFarm Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2014 ($23, 89 points) — A pure, fresh nose of white peach, pineapple and crisp apple with a touch of citrus and mineral notes. It’s round on the palate with super-ripe orchard fruit, but clean through the finish.


Joie Farm “En Famille” Chardonnay Reserve 2012 ($38, 91 points) — A nose of grilled pineapple, lemon, lime, green apple, saline minerality and toasted vanilla spices. Such lovely fruit flavours on the palate and nicely balanced with the oak spices and freshening acidity through the finish.


JoieFarm Re-Think Pink Rose 2014 ($21, 88 points) — An inviting nose of raspberry, cherry, watermelon and an interesting savoury note. Feels perfectly dry on the palate, despite 10 g/l of RS, with subtle red fruits, touch of tannins and the essence of raspberry-strawberry and citrus through the finish.


JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2014 ($23, 89 points) — Highly aromatic nose of apple pith, citrus, minerals and grapefruit. It’s juicy and flavourful in the mouth with gorgeous apple and citrus notes and a vein of minerality through the finish.


JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2014 ($24, 88 points) — The grapes: Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Schoenberger. All that adds up to a spicy nose of exotic tropical fruits, ginger, lychee and lime. It’s bright and refreshing on the palate with guava, spice, white peach, lime, grapefruit and a touch of honey.

And some other B.C. wines reviewed:

Tinhorn Creek


Oliver winery Tinhorn Creek, in the brand new sub-appellation called the Golden Mile Bench, has always crafted a well-rounded and quality portfolio of red and whites that do best in the Okanagan Valley.

But, I have to say, the 2012 reds that are just being released, are the best from top to bottom that I have tasted from the winery.

Here’s what I tasted and liked:


Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench Red 2012 ($27, 91 points) — A blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot, the nose shows a mélange of black cherry, crunchy raspberry, blueberry with savoury spices. Lovely texture on the palate with persistence from the red and dark fruits with added mocha and barrel spices. Can age for 5-7 years.

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2012 ($27, 90 points) — A rich and complex nose of cassis, plums, cherries, toasted vanilla and other barrel spices. It’s bold and teeming with fruit on the palate but maintains a level of freshness with lovely spice notes and plush tannins through the smooth finish.

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc 2012 ($31, 92 points) — Thick and rich on the nose with black cherry, black currants, anise, savoury spice and dried herbs. Such a beauty in the mouth! Rich and complex with mélange of red and dark berries, elegant oak spice notes, touch of black licorice and ripe tannins that travel effortlessly on a smooth finish.

Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc 2013 ($22, 89 points) — Lovely perfumed red fruits, cherry, anise, subtle herbs and integrated spice notes on the nose. It’s smooth on the palate with rich and ripe red fruits, good barrel spice and propped up by fresh acidity.

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench White 2014, ($20, 91 points) — A blend of Semillon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Muscat that shows orchard fruits, honeysuckle, melon, apple and citrus on the nose. It’s fairly elegant on the palate but is juicy and vibrant on the palate with apricot, pear, citrus and integrated spice. Just delicious.

Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2014 ($17, 89 points) — A nose of pear, citrus, toasted vanilla and subtle minerality. It has youthful vigour on the palate with toasted oak spices, bright citrus, pear and a mélange of tropical fruit notes. Good length through the finish.

Monte Creek Ranch


Monte Creek Ranch is the newest winery in the Thompson Valley, located about 10 minutes from Kamloops. It’s a working ranch that is home to grass-fed cattle, horses, honey bees, Haskap berries and two new vineyards.

Monte Creek has 44 acres of vines planted at two estates vineyards. Grapes planted include Marquette, Foch, La Crescent, Riesling, Frontenac Gris and Frontenac with trials for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The wines are made by Galen Bernhardt.

Here’s what I liked:

Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2014 ($16, 87 points) — A nose of grapefruit, lime, white peach and Mandarin orange with a vein of minerality. It’s a friendly wine on the palate with flavours of lime, grapefruit and peach with a touch of sweetness.

Monte Creek Ranch Rose 2014 ($16, 88 points) — Made from 100% Marquette, the nose is all about the strawberry and rhubarb fruit. That follows to the palate with added cherry and raspberry notes in a fruit-forward, off-dry style.

Monte Creek Ranch Late’r Harvest Frontenac Gris 2014 ($18 for 375 mL, 88 points) — Robust nose of honeycomb, marmalade, mango, apricot and sweet citrus. It’s tangy on the palate with underlying sweetness with a silky, smooth delivery that combines citrus peel and tropical fruits. Not overly sweet, well balanced.

Township 7

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Township 7 Muscat 2014 ($17, 88 points) — An exciting, exotic nose of apple, pear, jasmine, sage and ginger with just a whiff of dried apricot. It bursts with flavour on the palate with orchard fruits and ginger with a crisp, dry finish.

cache_220_500_3_0_80_Township-7-7-Blanc-2014-bottle-shotTownship 7 “7 Blanc” 2014 ($17, 88 points) — A blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer with a touch of Muscat, the nose reveals peach, lime, lychee, pear, ginger and citrus. It’s soft and juicy on the palate and dripping in ripe fruit with just a touch of sweetness.

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Township 7 Pinot Gris 2014 ($17, 89 points) — Highly aromatic Gris with apricot, grapefruit, apple and pear notes. It’s quite juicy on the palate with lovely poached pear, apple, lime and citrus zest through the lively, vibrant finish.