Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Marley Farms

We picked up this bottle on our recent visit to Vancouver Island and our brief tour of the wineries on the Saanich peninsula. There haven't been too many wines that I've blogged so far that I just haven't found much enjoyment in drinking. I'm afraid this is one of them.

And I'm really rather bummed out about it.

244. NV Marley Farm Kiwi (Vancouver Island)

I had really looking forward to being able to visit Marley Farms again. I had a marvelous memory of their Kiwi wine from years past. I recall being surprised by its brightness and tasting - not of kiwi fruit - but like a crisp white wine. I also adored the tall slim bottle. I really wanted to be able to blog about my enjoyment of a novel wine.

Guess it's just not to be. At least not this time. I hate to say it but the skull and crossbones in the picture might have been a bit of a warning or harbinger.

Bella Jianna, Flyboy B, Boo and I had actually tried a bottle while at their place, but I didn't blog it because we only took a couple of sips and re-corked the bottle. We thought it had oxidized and gone off.

We took it back and the winery was very gracious and replaced the bottle. They even offered to trade it in for a completely different varietal. I took another bottle of the Kiwi because of the fond memories of bottle past; however, this bottle tasted the same as the one we weren't too fond of at Bella Jianna's.

I note that Marley Farms hasn't shown a vintage on this bottle. Maybe they were selling older bottles from the cellar. Or maybe they've moved on to a different method of vinification. I don't know, but this didn't exhibit characteristics of Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc to me. They suggested pairing the wine with Asian or Indian food and that's why we tried it with some butter chicken. I can't say that it helped with the flavours at all.

I will say that I'm still intrigued by the varietal. And I think attending their Kiwi Squeeze would be a hoot. Believe it or not, the hairy Kiwi skins don't make for a favourable trait when fermenting the wine. Accordingly, the winery needs to peel the fruit before pressing it. It took family and friends almost a week to peel the couple of tons of fruit that they used in their first vintage in 2003. Since then, they've hosted an annual event, in January, where volunteers attend and help with the fruit preparation. They can apparently get a waiting list for those willing to help.

Due to a shortage of fruit this year, there is no Kiwi Squeeze to be held. I'll check back into it for 2011. Hopefully, that time around this interesting wine will sit a little better on my palate.

I do still like their labels though. That counts for something.

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