Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Calona Vineyards 2004 Artist Series Cabernet Merlot  (Okanagan Valley)

Calona Vineyards

2004 Artist Series Cabernet Merlot
(Okanagan Valley)

Calona Vineyards started commissioning original art for its wine labels for its 1987 vintage Rougeon, initially featuring only the work of Robb Dunfield, a talented quadriplegic Vancouver painter. Within four years, art had become a feature of all of Calona’s premium wines. Today, Calona’s calls for submissions draw a lot of attention: for example, the winery got 600 submissions for its 2005 labels. Winning artists get $1,000 and a case of wine – plus invaluable recognition on thousands of bottles.

The artist featured on this value-price Cabernet Merlot is Norah Borden, whose painting of a brilliant sunrise over a dark ocean is said to symbolize the “harmonious blending of … classic grapes in our Cabernet Merlot.” Dark in colour, the wine has aromas of vanilla and red berries. The flavours include currants, plums and chocolate. The long ripe tannins and the plumpness of the Merlot in the blend provide a rich middle palate. 85 points.

Reviewed July 27, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Calona Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Artist Series Cabernet Merlot
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot
Price: 750ml $13.99

Review Date: 7/27/2006

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.