A few years back a colleague of mine bought six of these and shared them with myself and his brother. Having heard many great things about the Burrowing Owl Estate Winery and knowing that the 2002 Meritage had produced some decent medals, it was with great pleasure to shell out the ninety dollars for two bottles. This winery is located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. With just over ten years of history behind them they have managed to build one of the more prestigious reputations for the region and as such anything they produce is often sold out or limited quickly. It is a good idea to sign up for email alerts to get a shot at new releases and they do ship outside of B.C. This wine is actually blended with all five traditional grapes in a ‘Bordeaux’ style wine, the two Cabernets (Sauvignon and Franc), Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, making it extremely unique for a Canadian Meritage. Merlot is the predominate grape though at around 65% of the mixture. The tasting notes of the winemaker are as follows below with my tasting notes below it.
The 2004 growing season at Burrownig Owl Estate was characterized by generous early spring rains, leading to an early bud-break and excellent fruit set. The season was typified by consistent sunshine and stable, warm temperatures throughout the critical summer months. Early autumn showers helped to slow the ripening process, which enhanced the development of complex flavours and the near optimal expression of the unique terroir of the Burrowing Owl vineyards.
Decanting this wine led to a dark, deep purple colour with a dull nose at first. As the wine swished and our noses inhaled plums and oak came at us. The first sip exposed more of the plum and some black berries. The oak faded and more berries came out as the wine opened up and our palates relaxed. The wine is still young and the tannins very firm making this a chewy wine. My view of this vintage changed as the glass emptied, instead of the initial roughness it seemed to enjoy the air and soften enough to be considered evenly balanced with a long finish. At $45 dollars this is very much overpriced, not uncommon for Canadian wines. This wine compares well in style, structure and quality to a good many Bordeaux in the $20 to $40 range. Overall I was slightly disapointed, but mostly because I expected great things while being delivered ‘only’ a good wine.
The CWG Subjective Rating is 88 out of 100.
Mrs CWG says:
Not worth the $45 but I enjoyed it none the less