Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, 2014, red wine from Canada
Some of my friends recently said ‘Canadian and wine are two words which don’t really go well together’. I am afraid it is true in certain regards. This Pinot Noir comes from an area not really well-known for wine: British Columbia in Canada. Quail’s Gate sits on the west side of Okanagan Lake, a 3 1/2 hour hour drive northeast from Vancouver. I haven’t been there yet and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get there. My knowledge of this wine region is very limited – perhaps Stefan Hartmann – the former chef at Berlin’s restaurant Hartmann, currently chef at Vancouver’s restaurant Bauhaus, can contribute some interesting notes on the area.
Whatever information I’ve gathered about the soil and the weather comes from internet sources, in particular from Quail’s Gate’s webpage. Have a look at their website to get an idea of the place: http://quailsgate.com/. This is a large wine producer.
After hearing its praises from a sales consultant at a wine store in Toronto, I recently bought this Canadian Pinot Noir. Considering the price (more than Can $30), it belonged to the top ten high-priced Canadian wines, and thus I really would have expected something much better than it is.
It is a relatively intense wine – the opposite of what I would expect from a Pinot Noir. It has some of the classic aromas of a Pinot, although it’s not too peppery and is pretty dry. To me, this wine tastes much too strongly of wood – barrique is the dominant note and overpowers all other potential notes, a combination of – strangely enough – hints of clove and bitter chocolate. The dominating fruit aroma is lingonberry combined with strong spices. The wine has a certain acerbity and is somehow sour after three days. I am not a fan of sweet or overly fruity wines at all, but in this case it seems that the grapes themselves are not rich enough to carry this wine – there is a lot of work in the cellar and too much reliance on new wooden barrels.
You could call this a unique profile! For me it’s not – as it lacks character and is, simply put, a boring wine. As much as I had hoped for a nice surprise, there are many better wines – perhaps even in Canada, which isn’t a country known for the best wines anyhow.
Have a look at my more positive review about another Canadian wine: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/09/16/norman-hardie-pinot-noir-unfiltered-2011/.
To avoid any misunderstanding: I like Canada and I of course like all winemakers in the world!