Mission Hill Winery2004 Reserve Merlot
Mission Hill’s wine tiers give the winery plenty of flexibility to allocate the quality of the fruit that comes into the winery – but the system can be a touch obscure. Leaving aside Oculus, a red wine that is the best of the best each year, there are three tiers. The value tier is called Five Vineyards while the top tier is called Special Lot Collection (SLC). That places Reserve in the middle tier. One might quibble with applying the ‘Reserve’ term to anything but the top range, except most producers take a casual stance on using the term.
Having said that, this is a wine of considerable merit, elegantly structured, with aromas of cassis, along with hints of fruit and chocolate. On the palate, it is dense and figgy, with a note of liquorice on the finish. The wine is nicely framed with fine, ripe tannins. For immediate consumption, it deserves decanting. It should easily age and improve for another three to five years. 88 points.
Reviewed September 28, 2006 by John Schreiner.
Other reviewed wines from Mission Hill Winery
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.