• Beppi Crosariol

    Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Sauvingon 2015

    92 points – Ambitiously priced but ambitiously crafted. Veteran winemaker Howard Soon harnessed lots of flavour from the hot 2015 growing season in the Similkameen Valley to produce a bold red from the best cabernet blocks in the vineyard. Velvety in texture, this offers generous fruit suggesting blackberries, cassis and dates along with dark chocolate, tobacco, cedar and spice. This trophy red spent 20 months in new and used French and American barrels plus a further year in bottle. Just 195 cases produced. Approachable now, it should improve with at least eight years in the cellar.

  • Beppi Crosariol

    Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank 2014

    93 points – “Somebody call Interpol. Clearly this red was stolen from barrels resting in the finest cellars of Pomerol. Actually, that can’t be, because there’s sunnier, richer fruit here than in most wines from that district of Bordeaux. The “right bank” reference here is appropriate, though. It denotes the wines of Bordeaux’s eastern flank, where smooth merlot dominates the blends that tend to comprise smaller proportions of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, as does this beauty from British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley. Polished in texture, poised in stature and firmly structured, it shows perfectly ripened fruit suggesting cherry and raspberry, with notes of chocolate, tangy spice and, I dare say, Bordeaux-style graphite. The tannins are fine-grained and elegant. Worth cellaring for up to a decade. Maybe much more (who knows?).”

  • Beppi Crosariol

    Vanessa Vineyard Merlot 2014

    90 points – “The venerable Okanagan veteran Howard Soon (who recently “retired” from Sandhill after a distinguished career overseeing that and several other brands) has resurfaced as master winemaker for Vanessa Vineyard in the Similkameen Valley. This is an ambitious estate with a focus on full-bodied reds (plus a rosé). The 2014 merlot is a blend of 85-per-cent merlot and 15-per-cent cabernet franc, with a smooth, luscious texture carrying flavours of ripe plum, currant jam, cocoa, tangy cedar and toasty oak. Well-structured. Available direct, Vanessavineyard.com.