Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Garry Oaks Winery 2004 Fetish, Diamond Back Vineyard (Okanagan Valley)

Garry Oaks Winery

2004 Fetish, Diamond Back Vineyard
(Okanagan Valley)

One of two wineries on Salt Spring Island, Garry Oaks sees itself primarily as a producer from its own estate vineyard, about seven acres planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Zweigelt. Because the young vines only began yielding modest quantities of fruit in 2001, the winery’s owners, Marcel Mercier and Elaine Kozak, also began purchasing Okanagan grapes to give them a significant volume of wine when they opened in 2003.

Fetish is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, purchased from vineyards on Black Sage Road. The grapes are crushed for Garry Oaks at a winery in the Okanagan and then are shipped to Salt Spring Island for fermentation.

Winemaker Elaine Kozak has an unusual background: degrees in psychology, information sciences and political economy, plus a substantial career in the British Columbia public service. But when she and Marcel (an environmental scientist) plunged into the wine business, Kozak immersed herself in winemaking courses.

It has paid off in solid wines like this red, a wine with aromas of chocolate and red fruit. The fruit flavours are bright and brambly, no doubt echoing the vivacious Cabernet Franc. With firm tannins and a touch of youthful astringency, the wine benefits from decanting or cellaring. 86 points.

The name of this wine, which could also be called Meritage, reflects the free-spirited originality in the Garry Oaks labels. Their Zweigelt is called Zeta, and they used to make a red from Lemberger that, prudently, they called Labyrinth.

Reviewed October 23, 2006 by John Schreiner.

Other reviewed wines from Garry Oaks Winery


The Wine

Winery: Garry Oaks Winery
Vineyard: Diamond Back Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Fetish
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $27.95

Review Date: 10/23/2006

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.