Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in BC’s Okanagan Valley received top honours this week. Wine Align, the online wine rating service awarded it Winery of the Year, snatching it from Ontario’s Tawse, which has won for the past three years.
The award of distinction is based on five of its wines that received gold and platinum medals at this year’s National Wine Awards. They are:
Mission Hill Riesling Reserve 2011 – Platinum 100% Riesling – This was the first wine in the flight of award winners. This wine would turn me into a regular Riesling drinker. The nose sent me to a peach and honey heaven. It was perfectly balanced, with a deliciously long finish.
Mission Hill Chardonnay Reserve 2011 100% Chardonnay . Citrus meets a hint of coconut. Aged in oak for eight months, it is very subtle.
Mission Hill Perpetua Osooyos Vinyard Estate 2010 Chardonnay 100% Chardonnay This is part of the winery’s Legacy series of Premium wines.
Mission Hill Compendium 2009 – Platinum – This is a Bordeaux-inspired blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Also part of the Legacy Series, it is wine-making at its finest. Complex, full-bodied and elegant.
Mission Hill Riesling Icewine 2011 – Admission – I know it is very unpatriotic to say I am not a fan of icewine because we produce some of the best in the world……but there are no absolutes. This was simply outstanding. Exceptionally balanced so the sweetness was perfect and not overwhelming, which is why they are often not my favourites. If you get the chance, try this one.
Sadly not all of these wines are available across the country unless by special order. Why we can’t order our own wines directly from the winery as they do in the US continues to be a mystery. But here are a few wine picks that are available for your sampling this weekend.
Cave Spring 2011 Riesling Estate VQA Beamsville Bench ($17.95) There was a cornucopia of Ontario releases at the LCBO this week. I am on a mission to get reacquainted with Riesling especially because there are such fine examples from BC and ON. If you like citrus with a touch of honey and pear – you will like this wine. It is fresh and appealing. Perfect with Sushi.
Domeco de Jarauta Lar de Sotomayor Vendemia Rioja 2010 ($17.95) Spanish wines are often overlooked in the showy presence of their neighbouring spotlight hoggers in Italy and France. This Rioja has some punch to it. It is full-bodied with notes of black and red fruit. 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano grapes. Great value.
McManis Syrah 2011 ($19.95) Speaking of big and luscious, this Californian delivers in every way. This wine will keep you warm sitting on a patio with a blanket because you are not ready to move indoors just yet. Red fruit jammy with a touch of pepper. I highly recommend it.
Enjoy your wine-shopping this weekend. The women of wine are heading to the Big Apple and some highly recommended wine bars and we will report back next week.