British Columbia’s Best Red Wines

We’ve got wine on the mind after this weekend’s Vancouver International Playhouse Wine Festival wrapped up another successful year of tastings. Though Chilean wines were in the spotlight, we think it’s our very own BC wines that stole the show.  

Here’s a rundown of some of our notable red favourites (in general, and as showcased at VIPWF 2012). If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a bottle, or spot any of these by the glass, be sure to taste test them for yourself we think your young professional palate will be perfectly pleased!

Meyer Family Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir (McLean Creek Road Vineyard) 
From the beautiful Okanagan Falls region, this delicious wine bodes a fruity aroma chock-full of rhubarb, blackberry, raspberry and cherry flavours blended with an earthy, savoury finish. Lots of elegance and medium tannins make this wine (that rings in at $40/bottle) one to hang onto for a few years…or the perfect gift for your boss.

Dunham & Froese Estate Winery 2008 Amicitia Red Blend
Straight from Oliver, BC’s coveted McIntyre Bluff area, this organic red blend is packed with flavours and does well with a bit of decanting. It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot and is meant to be sipped alongside richer dishes or grilled meat…the perfect BBQ wine.

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2009
Red Icon from BC’s Penticton area is definitely a worthy wine to track down to fill your own glass or as a noteworthy gift guaranteed to get the conversation going. This red blend brings together Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah to create an elegant and full-bodied wine. Look for dark fruit, a hint of mint, bell peppers and spice on the finish. Find it in stores and on wine lists throughout YVR; at $55/ bottle, it’s an investment worth making.

Burrowing Owl Athene 2009 Syrah – Cabernet Sauvignon 
Athene is a big, bold blend to note from the Okanagan Valley’s Oliver region. With a near 50/50 split between the two grapes, we love the zestiness offered up by this wine. Look for loads of pepper, juicy dark fruit such as cherries and plums, a touch of tobacco flavour and hint of dark chocolate. We love this wine’s long and balanced finish.

Desert Hills Estate Winery 2008 Syrah
From the sun-soaked Black Sage Bench region of Oliver comes this robust, award-winning red. Full of intense dark fruit flavours, look for a hint of vanilla, spice and dark chocolate to compliment the finish. This Syrah is an excellent wine when paired with food and is meant to be enjoyed for years to come.

Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir
From the Osooyos region of the Okanagan, we recommend you find yourself a bottle of this stunning wine. Look for flavours of ripe strawberries, rhubarb and spice, blended perfectly with a hint of pepper and earthiness that beckons for savoured-sipping alongside cheese and charcuterie. This is a well-balanced wine with a lengthy finish worth noting. 

Laughing Stock Vineyards 2009 Portfolio
Employing the profiles of five Bordeaux varieties (Cab Sauv, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot), this wine is loaded with a level of intensity only the containing ingredients could provide: tobacco, licorice, dark chocolate and dark fruit flavours combine for a multi-layered experience. Coming from Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley, this Portfolio is one worth investing in ($45/bottle).

Click here for our list of BC’s best white wines.

Photo courtesy Painted Rock Estate Winery