3 Okanagan Wines to Try ASAP (If You Can Find Them)
These tough-to-find bottle are worth seeking out.
It’s more than a tad ballsy to price your first vintage as the most expensive pinot in the Okanagan, but while Doug and Dawn Reimer’s label may be new, their grapes have spent the last few vintages going into wines of both Foxtrot (the previous high-water mark for pricey pinot) and Meyer Family (always one of our top pinots) so it’s not really full tabula rasa. The wine skews elegant over brawny and has a wonderful purity of fruit, so if you’re feeling flush and can find it (there are only 237 cases) it’s a bit of a treasure. mirabelvineyards.com
If The Avengers were Okanagan grape growers, this would be their wine. This under-the-radar passion project comes from a Similkameen version of a supergroup: winemaker J.M. Bouchard (Road 13), vineyard owners Larry Lund and Ron Bell, wine merchant Brian Berry, winery owners Pam and Mick Luckhurst (Road 13) and P.Eng (!) Jim Morrison. But instead of saving the world, this dream team crafts a blockbuster of a meritage, packed full of wild herbs and dark fruit, with a jolt of acidity to keep it in line. Then they refuse to create a website or really market it at all, and still the cognoscenti seek it out and snatch it up.
Ann Sperling is revered among fellow Okanagan winemakers, with her Old Vines Riesling being one of the early hallmarks of the region’s ability to make world-class wine—she just never had the marketing machine enjoyed by other great riesling producers, nor did she do things like update her website frequently (or at all). But when it comes to making wine, she has few peers—evidenced by this startling fusion of old-school winemaking and natural wine trends. It looks like a rosé but acts like something very different, with body and crazy minerality and a spit-roasted pineapple finish like a race car. And a cool new bottle to boot. sperlingvineyards.com