Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Burrowing Owl Vineyards 2004 Merlot  (Okanagan Valley)

Burrowing Owl Vineyards

2004 Merlot
(Okanagan Valley)

It speaks to the loyal following that Burrowing Owl has won for its Merlot that Taylorwood Wines, a VQA store in Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown, limited its customers to one bottle each when the wine was released. It is not as if this is a rare wine. Burrowing Owl produced 7,145 cases! Obviously, not enough to satisfy the frenzied demand, however.

Burrowing Owl has enjoyed something of a cult following ever since it released its first wines, the 1997 vintage. Proprietor Jim Wyse shrewdly had retained a consulting winemaker from California, Bill Dyer, who had made a reputation for himself at Sterling Vineyards and added to it in British Columbia. In the Okanagan, he produced a succession of bold, ripe wines with the fruit from Burrowing Owl’s superbly-run vineyard. He left prior to the 2004 vintage but succeeding winemaker Steve Wyse, the proprietor’s son, is not tampering with the Dyer style.

This wine begins with attractive aromas of blackberries and black cherries. The first impression on the palate is vibrant fruit, with flavours of red currants and cherries. There is a hint of chocolate and a touch of earthiness on the finish. The tannins are ripe, contributing to a fullness on the palate. 88 points.

Reviewed November 8, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $26.90

Review Date: 11/8/2006

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.