Poplar Grove Just Dropped the Mic Big Time on Napa and Bordeaux
12 Bordeaux style-blends were served blind and they triumphed over a seriously esteemed group.
Poplar Grove The Legacy 2014 $52
I know this looks like a standard wine review but it’s not….it’s an extended way of saying I told you so, because while the Canadian wine world is a going bonkers over the most recent Judgment of BC, I feel like I was two years and 6 months ahead of the curve in calling out Poplar Grove’s pride and joy as one the the most special wines in BC. To be fair, a lot of people were big fans of this wine, but I also think it’s fair to say that this wine lived a little bit in the shadow of some of the more famous “flagship” wines like Black Hills Nota Bene or Missions Hill’s Oculus.
That might change as the results of the 4th instalment of the Judgment of BC, the BC Wine Institute’s yearly blind tasting that pits 6 BC wines against 6 international wines in the same style. And for you skeptics out there, the judging panel is made up of a mix of international and local luminaries so there’s no home court bias. And the international wines chosen are serious, including some Bordeaux heavy hitters from an exceptional vintage (2015) and some very high-priced Napa talent. And even better? The #2 wine was Laughing Stock’s Portfolio, also a longtime WL fave.
So does this mean that BC wine is better than Napa or Bordeaux? No it doesn’t, but I do think that sometimes we underplay just how important showing well in blind tastings is. One of the great things about the world of wine is how history and myth and location factor into it. And one of the worst things about the wine world is its over reliance on history, myth, location….
To me blind tastings like this underscore how important it is to trust your palate, what you like and not be bullied into drinking wine from regions that others tell you are great. Don’t be close minded—you’ll appreciate whatever wine you like more after tasting similar efforts from other regions—but be confident in the way that it takes confidence to say “The Okanagan makes world class Bordeaux blends.”
Because the Okanagan demonstrably makes world class Bordeaux blends. See full results of the tasting below.
1. Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.0% | $52
2. Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.9% | $50
3. Blackbird Arise 2015 Napa Valley, California | 14.5% | $86
4. Dominus Estate Napanook Napa Valley Red 2014 California | 14.5% | $125.99
5. Intersection Estate Winery Axiom 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 13.9% | $39
6. Chateau Poujeaux 2015 Moulis-en-Médoc, France | 14% | $65
7. CedarCreek Estate Winery The Last Word 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.6% | $84.99
8. Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery Le Grand Vin 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.0% | $45
9. DeLille Cellars D2 2013 Columbia Valley, Washington State | 14.3% | $85
10. Clos du Soleil Winery Signature 2014 Similkameen Valley, BC | 14.8% | $45
11. Chateau de La Dauphine 2015 Fronsac, France | 14.5% | $50
12. Chateau d’Armailhac Grand Cru Classé 5th Growth Pauillac, France 2015 | 13.5% | $90