Kettle Valley Winery, one of the first iconic labels and vineyard programs from British Columbia’s Naramata Bench near Penticton, recently launched this second label from its young vineyards in river rocks near the town of Cawston in the promising Similkameen Valley. Technically, the vines are owned by sisters Colleen Ferguson and Janet Watts, and wines are made by their husbands Bob and Tim, respectively. This Zinfandel — yes Zinfandel in Canada — is proof of global climate change combined with skilled viticulture. The lot was harvested Oct. 23 at 24.5 Brix before spending 20 months in French oak. The nose is brimming with strawberry, ripe raspberry and Rainier cherry with fresh cranberry, French vanilla and earthiness of rinsed white mushrooms. And like many Zins, it’s a hedonistic crowd pleaser, bringing flavors of sweet strawberry, cherry and black currant. Easy tannins, raspberry acidity and chocolate notes in the finish make this quite a quaffer.
Production: 191 cases