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.