Kettle Valley Winery2005 Old Main Red, Old Main, King Drive
At the Kettle Valley Winery, partners Bob Ferguson and Tim Watts make some of the most muscular wines in the Okanagan. Ferguson is an accountant and Watts is a mining engineer who met as home winemakers, changing careers entirely to open this boutique winery in 1996. Ferguson says: “Our style has always been bigger, robust, ripe, full-bodied wines because that is the style that we enjoy.”
They can pull off wines like this, vintage after vintage, because Kettle Valley’s vineyards on the Naramata bench all are close to Okanagan Lake. Not having to worry much about frost, they just let the grapes hang and hang, typically picking the reds in their Old Main Vineyard during the first week of November, later than most Okanagan wineries. “We make sure those skins have a lot of flavour and a lot of colour as well,” Ferguson explains. “Essentially all the flavour we can get into those grapes comes out in the wine.”
The grapes for this wine, Kettle Valley’s flagship Bordeaux blend, were picked between November 1 and 4 in 2005, at the very end of a superb vintage. The result is a deep, rich wine with layers of plums, cherries and black currants, supported with the vanilla from the 20 months the wine aged in American oak. The wine has chewy ripe tannins and a generous, polished texture. 92 points.
Reviewed October 20, 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.