Saturna Island Vineyards2005 Pinot Noir, Estate
This appears to be the first release of a wine using the Gulf Islands appellation, the most recently declared British Columbia appellation. This winery, which opened in 1998, is both the largest and longest-established winery on that group of islands lying between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland.
The winery began planting its 65 acres of Saturna Island vineyards in 1995 on a bench backing against a limestone cliff. Major varieties include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. The cliff acts as a heat sink, storing the heat during the warm days and radiating some of it back over the vines at night when the cool breezes rise from the nearby ocean.
It is a terroir for making delicate and charming Pinot Noir. This wine, of medium hue, is a charmer, with hints of strawberry in the aroma and on the palate. On the finish, there is an attractive hint of white pepper. The oak is quite subtle and the wine has the classic velvety texture of Pinot Noir.
Each summer, the winery is a favourite stop for passing boaters, attracted to the bistro and the wine shop. While this Pinot Noir is ready to enjoy now, no doubt some will be served, refreshingly chilled, to relaxing mariners through the summer months. 87 points.
Reviewed April 2, 2007 by John Schreiner.
Other reviewed wines from Saturna Island Vineyards
Saturna Island Vineyards
2004 Pinot Gris Gulf Islands
(British Columbia)John Schreiner 7/27/2006
John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.