Morning Bay Vineyard & Estate2004 Reserve Merlot, Inkameep Vineyard
The Osoyoos Indian Band’s 265-acre Inkameep Vineyard, established in 1968, was one of the south Okanagan’s first extensive plantings of vinifera grapes. Today, the vineyard sells its grapes to 13 different wineries, including several small producers that have specific supply arrangements.
Morning Bay Vineyard contracts Merlot from a gravel knoll in the vineyard called “Z” Block. (Other vintners get other red varieties from this choice exposure.)
In 2004, Morning Bay winemaker Tilman Hainle also received a second lot of Merlot from a vineyard near Osoyoos. From that, the winery produced its $32 non-reserve Merlot. (This is the wine that Morning Bay owner Keith Watt is drinking now as he lets the reserve age. He estimates it will age at least 10 years.)
Winemaker Hainle used a long maceration time to extract every ounce of flavour from his hand-picked allotment of “Z” Block grapes. Then the wine spent 30 months in French and American oak barrels before being bottled. The wine opens with aromas of cassis, vanilla and tobacco. On the palate, there are flavours of plums and chocolate. The texture is full and rich, with a long finish of prunes, cocoa and liquorice. 90 points.
Reviewed December 7, 2007 by John Schreiner.
Other reviewed wines from Morning Bay Vineyard & Estate
Morning Bay Vineyard & Estate
2006 Estate Bianco, Mount Menzies
(Gulf Islands)John Schreiner 12/14/2007
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.