Vanessa Vineyard Merlot 2014

94 points – “Now a decade old, Vanessa Vineyard is an awesome 220-acre property carved almost entirely out of stone. The preparation to plant its 75-acres of vines was a challenge few would undertake, clearing massive amounts of rock and crushing them, then using special planting techniques to accommodate the site geography. Sandhill Winemaker Howard Soon (recently retired) calls the site, “A vineyard like no other.”
Located in the southern Similkameen Valley, it is a sloped site, which sees intense heat, and sun from dawn until dusk. The wines are a newer phenomenon, just being produced in recent years, and they are incredibly impressive. Intensity is best when describing any of their wines, and this Merlot (blended with 15% Cabernet Franc) equally so. It generates ripe black cherry, blackberry, rich dark chocolate, leather and dried herbs and botanicals. It is opulent on the palate as well; powerful black fruits, mocha and spice dominate, but the brightness is notable — its acidity truly adds levity to the wine. Amazingly complex and structured, an outstanding wine to be allocated to the top shelf of BC wines.”