Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Winery 2005 Zinfandel , Bear Cub Vineyard (Okanagan Valley)

Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Winery

2005 Zinfandel , Bear Cub Vineyard
(Okanagan Valley)

Zinfandel, California’s iconic variety, could not handle the winters when Reif Vineyards planted it near Niagara Falls in the 1990s. So far, the Okanagan has been more hospitable to Zinfandel, first planted in 1999 or 2000 in Vincor’s Bear Cub vineyard near sun-drenched Osoyoos. In the 2002 vintage, these grapes allowed Inniskillin Okanagan to release British Columbia’s first vintage. More recently, a few other Okanagan wineries have released or are getting ready to release their own Zinfandels.

Inniskillin Okanagan is the winery in the Vincor group anointed for proving the viability of varieties new to the Okanagan. Like the Zinfandel, the wines come out in the winery’s Discovery Series. The volumes are modest (550 cases for this vintage of Zinfandel), with the promise of more once the varieties prove themselves.

California winemakers would recognize this wine as coming from a “cool” terroir. The Okanagan’s hot days ripen the fruit but the cool nights result in flavours that are bright, without the jam found sometimes in muscular California Zins. This wine shows aromas and flavours of spicy currants and blackberries, with undertones of chocolate. The ripe tannins give the wine a rich, chewy texture. The vivid brambly flavours linger on the palate. 90 points.

Reviewed February 27, 2008 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Winery
Vineyard: Bear Cub Vineyard
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Zinfandel
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Zinfandel
Price: 750ml $29.99

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.