Howling Bluff Estate Wines2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Summa Quies Vineyard
This is the inaugural wine from Howling Bluff, the newest winery on the Naramata Bench, owned by partners Luke Smith and Toni Chase. The driving force is Smith, a stockbroker who runs that business from his home in the vineyard. The markets close at 1 p.m. Pacific time, leaving Smith long afternoons and evenings to work the 7.3 acre vineyard.
This wine comes an just over an acre of Sauvignon Blanc (the other plantings are primarily red varieties), farmed stingily to produce two tons an acre of fruit. Consulting winemaker Garron Elmes fermented the wine in stainless steel, producing only 130 cases. The wine is very much in the style of Graves: crisp, lean, flinty, with aromas and tastes of citrus and minerals. The tangy acidity lifts the fruit flavours while the finish is dry. 87 points.
Reviewed July 25, 2007 by 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.