Robin Ridge Winery2006 Gamay
Robin Ridge is the newest winery in the Similkameen Valley. While preparing to open a tasting room in the spring of 2008, owners Tim and Caroline Cottrill have entered the market with a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and this quite delicious Gamay, a wine with the substance of a good Beaujolais Cru.
The Cottrills, who had been earning a living in construction in Kelowna, bought a 10-acre Similkameen hayfield in 1996 and began planting grapes two years later. Their planting decisions have been a bit eclectic, ranging from Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to their three launch varietals. Other area wineries bought their grapes until the 2006 vintage, when Cottrill – coached by a consultant – was ready to run a full-fledged winery.
This Gamay is a generous red, with aromas of plums and cherries. That follows through to the flavours, along with a touch of mocha and oak. With its appealling fruit, this Gamay comes off as a bigger and more “serious” wine that Robin Ridge’s 2006 Pinot Noir. Both, however, show this is a winery to watch. 88 points.
Reviewed March 28, 2008 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.