Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Summerhill Pyramid Winery NV  Cipes Brut  (Okanagan Valley)

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

NV Cipes Brut
(Okanagan Valley)

Owned by former New York developer Stephen Cipes, Summerhill opened in 1992 with sparkling wines made by Eric von Krosigk. He is an Okanagan winemaker whose affinity for bubble can only be described as obsessive. Von Krosigk left Summerhill in the mid-1990s and, as winemaker or consultant, worked through an impressive number of British Columbia wineries, most of which ended up with sparkling wine in their product mix. Two years ago, in a full-circle career move, von Krosigk returned to Summerhill.

Cipes Brut was the original bubble brand he made. It became one of the iconic sparkling wines in British Columbia, a status enhanced when the winery somehow managed to serve it in Vancouver to Bill Clinton during a mini-summit with his Russian counterpart. For many years, Cipes Brut was made only with Riesling in the style of a German sekt (von Krosigk studied and apprenticed in Germany). In recent years, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay have gone into the cuvée, providing a much-needed complexity. “That’s the way we’re going to continue,” the winemaker says. Annual production is about 6,500 cases.

Sexy comes to mind when tasting the current release. The colour is a lovely light gold with silver glints, like fine jewels. The vigorous mousse gives the wine a creamy texture. The aroma and the flavours are fresh and fruity but with a delicate yeasty note. The finish is dry but not harsh. The wine is both elegant and festive. 88 points.

Reviewed December 20, 2007 by John Schreiner.

Other reviewed wines from Summerhill Pyramid Winery


The Wine

Winery: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Vintage: NV
Wine: Cipes Brut
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $24.95

Review Date: 12/20/2007

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.