Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, 2014, red wine from Canada

3 points

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.

qg-panoramic-9-14x5.jpgWhatever 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.

dsc_22171You 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!