Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2005 Family Reserve Pinot Noir, Estate (Okanagan Valley)

Quails' Gate Estate Winery

2005 Family Reserve Pinot Noir, Estate
(Okanagan Valley)

Quails’ Gate is the Okanagan’s largest single Pinot Noir producer, growing seven clones among its 40 acres of Pinot Noir, clearly the winery’s flagship. Family Reserve is the designation for all of its top tier wines.

This is the finest Family Reserve Pinot Noir since the first was made in the 1994 vintage. All the stars lined up for this wine: production from recently planted clones kicked in; 2005 was a small but superlative vintage; and in winemaker Grant Stanley, Quails’ Gate has a skilled Pinot fanatic in the cellar. Vancouver-born Stanley learned how to make wine in New Zealand where, among other things, he did six vintages with Ata Ranghi, a winery specializing in Pinot Noir.

In making this wine, Stanley left the juice on the skins from 21 to 28 days. That accounts for the wine’s dark colour and its rich fruit flavours. The Family Reserve is blended from the best barrels of four separately-fermented lots. The wine spent 11 months in French oak barrels, slightly shorter than earlier vintages – but that finessed oak treatment means that wood is not obscuring the vibrant fruit.

There is a touch of toast on the nose but the aromas are primarily fruit, with a bouquet of almost jammy richness. On the palate, the wine is bold and generous, with flavours of plum and spice and earth. The texture is classically lush and the finish is elegant and polished. The winemaker suggests the wine will cellar well for five to eight years. 2,300 cases of six have been released. 92 points.

Reviewed May 23, 2007 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Quails' Gate Estate Winery
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Family Reserve Pinot Noir
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $39.99

Review Date: 5/23/2007

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

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.