Sunday, May 30, 2010

Discovering a BC Zin

It's nice when you open a bottle and it delivers more than you expected it to. We've had this bottle of Inniskillin for at least a couple of years now - having picked it up on a road trip through the Okanagan - and I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Talk about exceeding my hopes for the night.

462. 2003 Inniskillin - Bear Cub Vineyard Zinfandel (VQA Okanagan Valley)

This bottle is fairly notable for Inniskillin for two reasons. It started out as part the winery's Single Vineyard Series and is now labeled under its Discovery Series. The Bear Cub Vineyard is part of the parent company, Vincor's, leased holdings on the Osoyoos Lake Bench and the winery gives winemaker, Sandor Mayer, enough leeway that he can experiment with varietals that aren't well known in the Okanagan. This Zin is the second vintage of what was the first Zinfandel produced in the province.

For fairly new vines in an unknown area, the wine kept plenty of its early promise and profile. There was still lots of ripe fruit on both the nose and the palate. BC desert or not, the Osoyoos area would still be considered "cool" climate by California standards and the cooler evening here give these grapes a balance that might not be as readily available with California growers.

The Inniskillin used to come in at around $30 - which isn't exactly pocketbook friendly - but, when you consider that there still isn't a lot of Zinfandel produced in BC and think of the price of nice California Zin, I'd be willing to try it again to see if it can be this good on a regular basis. I can only hope.

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