Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Mission to Drink What We Have

I've received a bit of a dictate (although this isn't the first time it's been issued) where I'm being strongly encouraged not to buy any new wine until we've gone through some of the wine currently in our "cellar." I suppose part of the issue is that we don't have a wine cellar - rather we have a wine fridge that's full and a collection of boxes found here and there throughout our home.

The dictate is jokingly referred to as the "No Buy Leash" and, like a Phoenix, it's arising yet again and being tightened - even though I'm quite sure that I still have some leeway based on a bit of a "luxury purchase" of Boo's earlier in the year. All the same, I suppose we'll see a bit of a run on BC wines over the next little while (since a good percentage of our cellar is from BC) - particularly ones like tonight's bottle that are starting to see a bit of age on them.

637. 2002 Mission Hill S.L.C. Merlot (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Considering what some might call a pre-eminent position that Mission Hill holds in the world of BC wine, we don't drink a lot of their wine in our household. If you search the blog site, you'll find more than passing mention of Mission Hill wines on The List, but those additions are often at friends' places or in passing mention of a wine project linked to Mission Hill. There aren't too many bottles that, like tonight, were simply opened for an evening at home.

That might be because I figure that you can always count on a bottle of Mission Hill being available at virtually any wine shop that you could go into in the city. There's no urgency in buying a bottle because you may never see it again. As such, most of the Mission Hill bottles that we have at home are from their premium lines - not exactly mid-week wines around here.

In any event, back in 2002 (the vintage at hand), Mission Hill was just finishing off their spectacular re-modelling of the winery - a huge step in owner, Anthony von Mandl's, long-time goal of turning Mission Hill into one of the top wineries in the world - let alone in BC. The S.L.C. line - or Select Lot Collection - of wines was to follow. Introduced as a premium line (just below the iconic Oculus blend), these wines were made only from vineyard blocks or even rows that had been identified as the finest in the winery's estate throughout the Okanagan Valley.

I'm glad to say that Boo and I thought the bottle had aged well. I'm not sure that with this being the first vintage that it was meant to age for a decade. The original notes for the wine referred to concentrated fruits and supple tannins." The fruit had definitely fallen off - particularly on the nose - but, as should be hoped, we had no problem finishing off the bottle.

We'll just have to see how many more Mission bottles get opened during this round of the "No Buy Leash" dictate.

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