Wild Horse Canyon Winery2005 Sauvignon Blanc
Don’t bother checking our Appellation Index, you won’t find anything called “West Coast” appellation. Since this publication is all about appellation identity and integrity, I think I object to Mission Hill’s invention of nomenclature for what should have been properly defined as an “International” wine, with grapes sourced from California and Washington to compliment the British Columbia grown varietals that formerly made this a VQA label (in previous vintage releases).
But, on second thought, I’m going to enter a plea of leniency because this is not the typical “international” fare we Canadians are used to. To wit, it is definitely not a cheapo tankered-in-for-bottling plonk, but rather an expressed attempt to replicate an existing (and all too successful) Okanagan taste profile, in the face of the 2005 crop shortfall. If imitation be the height of flattery, then this wine is a testament to the distinctive identity of the Okanagan Valley appellation…and that is something I’m always ready to praise.
And, by the way, this is a damn nice wine, starting with the nose and flavours running to gooseberries, melons and traditional Sauvignon Blanc grassiness. There’s yeastiness here too, not the tropical fruit enhancing yeast, so much in vogue for this varietal; but good old fashioned yeasty bread-like character that evokes a pleasing feeling of fresh bottling (or old Champagne!). The wine is pleasantly steely on the palate (Oh Canada!) with a distinct mineral finish. International relations should always be like this!
Reviewed March 23, 2007 by Roger Dial.
Under various hats (winegrower/maker/negotiant/writer) Roger Dial has been tasting wine professionally for 40 years. He regards varietal and regional diversity as the best virtues of wine, and is ever-suspicious of the quest (by producers and critics, alike) for “universal greatness”. His tasting regime is simple: Is the wine technically sound? Is it interesting? Warning: he’s a sucker for all aromatic varieties.