Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Peller Estates (BC) 2004 Merlot Private Reserve  (British Columbia)

Peller Estates (BC)

2004 Merlot Private Reserve
(British Columbia)

A few veteran tasters remember the 1994 Peller Merlot from the Okanagan. That was the year when the Peller family began putting its name on its premium wines. It was also the first big, warm vintage since the Okanagan Valley had begun its major commitment to vinifera, and notably to Merlot. Peller’s 1994 version was dark and inky and powerful. John Peller, the winery’s president, earthily described the wine as a “balls buster.”

The 2004 version is made in the same tradition but with more polish. Almost certainly, the wine was aged in better barrels (12 months in American and French oak). A lovely deep garnet colour, it begins with aromas of blueberries and chocolate. On the palate, there are flavours of plums, blackberries and chocolate. Full-bodied, the wine still has firm tannins, suggesting that it will benefit from a year or two of cellar aging. The production figure has not been disclosed but, given the quantity of Merlot in British Columbia, this should be the most widely available of Peller’s Private Reserve reds. 87 points now, likely to score higher in a year.

Reviewed November 22, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Peller Estates (BC)
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Merlot Private Reserve
Appellation: British Columbia
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $24.99

Review Date: 11/22/2006

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.