If you’ve been reading The Dirt over the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been spoiled rotten tasting rare and wonderful wines both at technical tastings and at work. Last Thursday was the cherry on top of my spoiled sommelier sundae.

I was invited to taste the “Legacy” wines from Mission Hill. Having limited experience with the wines I was wide open. I hadn’t seen a rep for the wines in the nine years that BiBO has been operating, but was invited to the exclusive tasting by DB who worked for me in a previous life. I knew the wines could live up to the hype… or not.

At any rate, I’m a big believer in Canadian wines, so I was excited for the opportunity to taste these “big boys”. We tasted:

2012 Perpetua Chardonnay – Opalescent clear golden green. Aromatic notes of sandalwood with a hint of oak. Tropical fruit, stone fruit, tulips and Skadiddle Kiddles (a perfumed plastic toy from the 1970’s). Lush creamy attack, dense rich fruit notes carry a luscious creamy acidity that opens to a spicy round finish. ❤ 100% free run juice, single vineyard Chardonnay. Made with a touch of new oak highlighting 75% stainless steel storage. Lovely, even and just quite good. This wine was a stand out for me. It strikes the perfect balance between new world Chardonnay and classic old world Chardonnay  +551028 $$ Try it so you can brag about it!

2011 Quatrain – Clear dark mid ruby hue. Intense mocha nose. Clear notes of blueberry and blackberries. New clean leather. Lush fruity attack of Japanese bitter plum fruit with big boy alcohol and a fleshy mid palate. This wine finishes with long, dry chewy tannins. (My teeth feel grey.) Quatrain starts life as Oculus and then 20 – 40% Syrah is added. This vintage, the blend is 54%Merlot, 21% Syrah, 13%Cab.Sauv., 12% Cab Franc ❤ +890582 $$$

2011 Compendium – Grainy dark mid ruby hue. Big first note of Murphy’s Oil Soap followed by Ribena Black Currant syrup and lots of red fruit notes of plum, red currant and pomegranate. Great tannic fruit attack. Astringent and chewy… lovely long finish and a really wonderful chocolatey cinnamon, nutmeg spice aftertaste. 44%Cab.Sauv.,43% Merlot, 13% Cab Franc ❤  ❤   +578328 $$$

2011 Oculus – Silk satin mid-dark ruby hue. Wet cardboard of Merlot. Savoury thyme, meaty with highlights of black currant. Absolutely silken velvet attack. Well knit tannins beautifully integrated with deep dark plummy fruit. Some lovely sweetness on the attack that opens wide letting the dark fruit shine. ❤    Very love. Just want to close my eyes and watch the finish evolve. Breath-taking. Truly lovely. 71% Merlot, 16%Cab.Sauv., 13% Cab Franc  +792051 $$$   (Here’s a hint: Some of the fruit for Oculus goes into the 5 Vineyards Cab Merlot so check that out!)

What a sweet surprise. Mission Hill has officially taken its’ place with some of the world’s best wines. I think in a blind tasting these wines could be mistaken for much “nobler” old world wines. Kudos to them!

After the tasting I went to work and spent some time perusing the wide catalogue of Mission Hill Wines available in Alberta. I have tasted some of the 5 Vineyards wines and can certainly recommend them, but I was inspired to do something I rarely do. I’ve ordered a case of something I’ve never tasted… For years I’ve been crowing about Syrah (or Shiraz) in the Okanogan. I’ve felt for a long time that Syrah is natural grape for B.C. although I have not yet found my best evidence for this theory.

With that in mind, I’ve ordered a case of the Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz taste un-tested! I feel pretty safe since tasting the above wines and also because it’s a Gold Medal winner according to the catalogue. You can come by BiBO after Wednesday (order delivery day) and see if I’m right!! 🙂

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