The wines that Val Tait, viticulturalist and winemaker at Bench 1775, makes all have their own character and are enjoyable in their own right, yet there is a common thread running through them that speaks to her style and commitment to quality. Look for these wines at the Vancouver International Wine Festival – February 11 – 19, 2017.
Here are the latest releases from Bench 1775:
2014 Pinot Noir
Dark cherry red in colour with medium intensity. The nose shows aromas of strawberry, bright red cherry, marshmallow, plum and earth. Good balance with medium body. Pleasing fruit flavours on the palate with mocha and cherry notes followed by a medium-plus finish.
This is a blend dominated by Merlot with small amounts of Malbec and Cabernet Franc to round it out. Garnet red with medium-deep intensity. Red fruit, red currants, prunes, earth, bramble, spice and floral notes on the nose. Good balance with medium body. The flavours echo the nose followed by a medium-plus finish with lingering hints of dark chocolate. A good match for a Friday night pizza.
2013 Cabernet Franc
Garnet red in colour with medium-deep intensity. The nose is layered with aromas of plums, cherries, smoky oak, cedar, vanilla, spice and a hint of chocolate. Good balance with bright acidity and smooth ripe tannins. Red fruit, black pepper and oak on the palate followed by a medium-long finish. This wine will age well and improve for another three to eight years. Serve this with pork tenderloin or leg of lamb.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
Just the right amount of Merlot was added to round out the Cabernet and make it very approachable. Garnet red in colour with medium-deep intensity. The nose is layered with aromas of plum, dried fruit, stewed fruit, meat and vanilla with floral and eucalyptus undertones. Well balanced. The flavour mirror the nose with the fruit character standing out followed by a medium-long finish.
“Where we are is who we are,” the motto at Bench 1775 is clearly reflected in this Malbec which came from an Okanagan vineyard when compared to the Similkameen Valley Malbec of the same vintage. It is only 12% ABV and yet that is a positive in this elegant and sophisticated wine. It is well integrated and shows breadth. Garnet red with hints of purple and medium-deep intensity. Complex aromas of black berry, sweet spice, vanilla, earth, forest floor, plum, chocolate and a hint of rosewater on the nose. Well balanced. The flavours follow the nose. The finish is medium-long with dry chocolate lingering.
By contrast, this Similkameen Valley Malbec is significantly higher in alcohol at 14.7%, yet it suits the wines profile perfectly. This wine shows depth. Garnet red in colour with medium-deep intensity. Dark fruit, sweet black berry, earthy, plum, bramble and minerality on the nose. Well balanced. The flavours mirror the nose with plum and dark fruit standing out, followed by a medium-long finish.
Here is a link to their earlier releases I tried during the summer:
(All photos – Sam Hauck)
Facebook: Bench 1775 Winery