by Treve Ring | It’s easy to overlook the big guys. It sounds counter-intuitive, but often in our race to seek out the newest, hippest, nano-garagiste winemakers, we eschew the larger, more established houses of oft-repute. Sure, some of that is for very good reason – no one needs to drink placeless, faceless wine. That said, there’s size, but there is also scale, and importantly, scope.
Local wine geeks in the know don’t skip over CedarCreek wines anymore, not since newly transplanted winemaker Darryl Brooker arrived on the scene in 2010 and focused his New Zealand / Australia / Niagara lens on their numerous plots of Okanagan Valley fruit. Now Taylor Whelan has ably taken over the reins, and range, at CedarCreek, having worked alongside Darryl since 2011 (as fate would have it, he’s also a veteran winemaker in New Zealand / Australia / Niagara). The winery has a few tiers and special projects on the go – be sure to try their natural Desert Ridge Meritage Amphora wine – but this understated little gem of a Riesling is also impressive.
The entry-level Riesling is one highlight of their portfolio, especially this year as the tight 2014 stands apart from the oft-bloated 2015 BC whites currently on the market. A 55-day ferment was time well spent. Vibrant and mouthwatering lime and sherbet is perfumed with tight pear blossoms and braced by green apple structure.
The gentle rise of sugar is ably balanced out by a shear of acidity, leaving a shimmer on the tongue in its wake (and an impressive 10.5 percent alcohol). Incredible value; buy by the case, and if you don’t drink it all now, it will absolutely cellar easily over the short term.
I recently chatted Taylor up about the message in the bottle…
CedarCreek 2014 Riesling | Okanagan Valley | $18 | www.cedarcreek.bc.ca | @cedarcreekwine
Straight up – why did you make this wine? We wanted to make a wine that would showcase the depth and pedigree of the 25 year old Riesling vines we have here at CedarCreek. It was also a bit of fun in terms of balancing acidity and residual sugar, Mosel-style.
Where are the grapes from? A significant proportion of the grapes come from our Block 3 vineyard at CedarCreek – we pick the vineyard twice, approximately 2 weeks apart. The top bunches that go in to this wine are picked earlier as we are looking for a bright acidity. The rest of the fruit comes from northern Okanagan vineyards in East Kelowna and along the East Lakeshore.
Your ideal pairing with this wine would be…? I’d have to go German – onion tart with some nice bratwurst.
Favourite BC wine, other than yours? Right now I am kind of stuck on Terravista’s Fandango Albarino/Verdejo blend.
What do you drink when you’re not drinking BC wine? I’ve been drinking some big meaty southern Rhone reds from Vacquerays and Gigondas. Also, BC Pilsners seem to have finally come on this summer, which I am excited about.