Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Burrowing Owl Vineyards 2005 Meritage  (Okanagan Valley)

Burrowing Owl Vineyards

2005 Meritage
(Okanagan Valley)

Burrowing Owl began making Meritage blends in the 2000 vintage from vines that were five to seven years old. Each subsequent vintage has reflected the additional maturity of the vines as well as the vintage conditions of the year. For example, 2002 was acknowledged as one of the finest recent Okanagan vintages. Burrowing Owl’s Meritage from that vintage won best of class awards at both the Los Angeles County Fair and the Pacific Rim wine competitions.

The 2005 vintage in the Okanagan was even better. It started with a small fruit set due to rain at flowering which turned out to be a good thing because it reduced yields naturally. The growing season was long and conditions were even. Burrowing Owl winemaker Jeff Delnin made the most of that season: this is Burrowing Owl’s best Meritage yet.

It is a wonderfully rich wine, beginning with aromas of vanilla, chocolate and cassis. On the palate, there are flavours of plum and cassis with a touch of spice (cloves). The long, ripe tannins contribute to the wine’s appealing texture. There is elegance and balance here, with a drink-now accessibility but enough firmness for several years of cellaring. The winery made 1,455 cases. 91 points.

Reviewed February 27, 2008 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Meritage
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Merlot (64%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Malbec (1%), Petit Verdot (1%)
Price: 750ml $45.00

Review Date: 2/27/2008

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.