Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Little More Poplar Grove Pinot Gris - Please

Now that we're over half way on this little Wine Odyssey - and since Boo has me on the "No Buy Leash" so that we can enjoy some previously purchased wines - I find I have to check the blog to see if I've already added certain wines to The List or not. Tonight's wine is there twice already - but for earlier vintages. So, under the rules (my blog, my rules), a new vintage is completely legit for a new number. Yippee!

It would appear that I've been reaching for the even-yeared vintages of tonight's wine as the 2006 version was added way back at #83 on The List and, at #842, the 2008 vintage helped Canada "beat" the US in this blog's World Cup of White Wine that accompanied the Women's World Cup back in the summer. It would appear that it's time to pull the cork on a bottle of the 2010 now.

1057. 2010 Poplar Grove Pinot Gris (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Ian Sutherland may have sold the majority interest in Poplar Grove some years ago but he remains the winery's Executive Winemaker and General Manager. He has long referred to Pinot Gris as the winery's signature white varietal - and while I might not have been overwhelmed with our tasting of the 2008, for me, this new vintage hits the mark on every point.

Pinot Gris can be quite the easy drinking quaff and there's certainly a lot of it being made in the Okanagan, but truth be told, a lot of it can be rather pedestrian - big acid, maybe some citrus notes or a touch of stone fruit - but when a winemaker gets it right, boy can the Okanagan sing. This vintage was one of those bottles for me. I don't know if it was the much reduced harvest in 2010 due to tougher growing conditions (they only cropped 80 tons, a reduction from 210 tons), but something helped bring about a richness and complexity of harmonized flavours that sure worked for me.

This is one of the bottles that we picked up last Fall when we made our way up to the Naramata Bench for the Red Rooster Adopt-A-Row Harvest Party. After we'd finished the day's play, up the road, in the Red Rooster vineyard and winery with all the other "adoptive parents," Boo, Tyrant, Taylor and I had a quick opportunity to make a short pilgrimage to the new Poplar Grove facility.

And is it a beauty!! I think it sets a new bar for fantastic - not only for the Bench but for the Okanagan on the whole. It's a completely different feel from the incredible Mission Hill, but we all left rather gobsmacked. Strikingly clean lined, with a spectacular view of the lake, I don't see how you couldn't enjoy the wines. As if the wines were good enough on their own to start.

I don't want to gush too wildly but I can't wait for an opportunity to head back and participate in a winery event or dine at the restaurant that is supposed to open later this year in the Summer. In the mean time, I'll just have to settle for a couple other Poplar Grove wines that I might be able to find hidden away.

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