Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Burrowing Owl Vineyards 2004 Meritage  (Okanagan Valley)

Burrowing Owl Vineyards

2004 Meritage
(Okanagan Valley)

About 1,500 cases of this wine have been released and, like all Burrowing Owl wines, has quickly become hard to find. The winery began releasing Meritage wine in the 2000 vintage. It made its reputation for this blend with the 2002 Meritage, which scored two “best of class” awards at major California competitions.

With the 2004, winemaker Steve Wyse set out to raise the bar, adding a touch of Malbec and Petit Verdot for the first time. The object, as the winery puts it, was to “add a little more zip.” He might even be able to make subsequent vintages zippier as the vineyard’s young Malbec and Petit Verdot plantings become fully productive. On tasting this wine, however, one is reminded of the adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is a delicious wine, with red fruit aromas simply spilling from the glass. There is a core of sweet fruit flavours on the palate – plums, cherries, red currents, black berries – with a rich and spicy finish. A half bottle saved for the second day was a revelation. The wine blossomed to full-bodied richness, with satisfying layers of flavours and a very long finish. Clearly, this wine should be cellared or decanted for immediate consumption. 90 points.

Reviewed November 24, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Burrowing Owl Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Meritage
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%), Malbec (1%), Petit Verdot (1%)
Price: 750ml $39.90

Review Date: 11/24/2006

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.