The Date and Time: Monday, September 8, 2014 10:30AM to 1:30PM
The Event: A vertical tasting of Osoyoos Larose VQA Okanagan, 2001 – 2010 plus their second wine Petales d'Osoyoos 2011.
The Venue: private home
The Target Audience: a dozen Wine Writers' Circle of Canada members.
The Availability/Catalogue: current vintages are available, but the older ones are hard to procure. Two of our members produced wines from their own cellars; the rest came from the BC estate.
The Quote/Background: Michael Pinkus, President of the WWCC, worked long and hard to organize this tasting. We lined up the bottles in vintage order, pulled the corks, and tasted – and re-tasted. Most of us were at it for two hours. Michael later wrote to the Estate: "On behalf of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for providing us the almost complete vertical of Osoyoos Larose wines. The tasting was well-attended by members who unanimously felt the wines showed beautifully and demonstrated the pinnacle of red winemaking in Canada. In short, the familiarizing of the Osoyoos Larose wines was almost certainly a valuable exercise for our membership of wine opinion leaders. Please thank Mathieu and all those at Osoyoos Larose for us."
The Wines: These following notes are a mix of my notes and some data provided by Osoyoos Larose in view of the time frame of the wine, both "as is" and re-tried. The scores are mine alone. Collectively, the writers seemed to enjoy 2001, 2008 and 2005 in that order.
2001: Fully developed on the nose with medium intensity aromas of spicy dried black fruit, chocolate, green olive and oak. Lovely long length, 13.9% ABV. Very much an aged complexity, but ultimately faded an hour and a half later. The blend is 66/25/9 merlot/cabernet sauvignon/cabernet franc. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2002: Black fruit aromas with spicy smoke undertones and a touch of forest floor. Tannic, still needs time to develop, but opened up after 90 minutes. 13.5% ABV. The blend is 57% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2003: Aging very well, some initial VA blew off. Much better 90 minutes later. Leather, plum. Medium coarse tannins. The finish is warm dry. 13.4$ ABV. The blend is 75% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2004: Developing, but great nose of black fruit, smoke, and herbs. A full-bodied wine with balanced acidity and ripe tannins. Some anise, tobacco leafiness. Very complete wine. 13.5% ABV. My fave of the tasting. The blend is 68% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. Quality/Price rating is 94 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2005: Persistent merlot tones throughout the tasting, even 90 minutes later. Pepper, spices, mocha, vanilla, licorice, cassis, black cherry, tobacco leaf, black olive flavours. 13.5% ABV. The blend is 67% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2006: Tannic with lots of spices and smoke. 13.5%. Slightly off-dry finish. 13.5% ABV. The blend is 69% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2007: Quite similar to the 2006 with a typical nose (mocha, black fruit, olive). A tight compact wine, needs more time to evolve, even after 90 minutes of movement. 13.5% ABV. The blend is 70% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2008: This rich full-bodied wine with red fruit and caramel represents a shift in winemaking philosophy? Spices with a well-rounded tannin structure and fruit driven finish.13.5% ABV. The blend is 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot, reminiscent of the 2002 blend. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2009: Exceedingly bright and ripe, rich persistence of red fruits and caramel/vanilla. One would swear it was California in style, with its ripe tannins. 13.5% ABV. The blend is 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2010: Made as a traditional Bordeaux-styled wine, with smoke and cedar and tobacco plus red and black fruit. But quite a ways to go. 13.8% ABV. The blend is merlot 67%, cabernet sauvignon 20%, petit verdot at 6%, cabernet franc at 4% and malbec at 3%. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
2011: Petales d'Osoyoos 2011, a second wine, with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec, 13.6% ABV. First made in 2004. It seemed to be a very nice version of a light Haut-Medoc. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
The Food: none, just water.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 95.