Those of you who know me well, know that I get weak knees for a good Merlot.
Township 7 has two road stops: one on the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan, and one in Langley outside of Vancouver. Last winter, the Langley location of Township 7 hosted a fun toy drive festival for a local charity in British Columbia called the Langley Christmas Bureau. The deal was: you brought a toy to donate, you got a free tasting. I thought, “Excellent. I win both ways.” So, on that wintery weekend, my partner and I drove out to Langley, toys in hand ready to be donated. When we got there, we noticed an abundant crowd of people donating gifts for those in need, people enjoying live entertainment, others munching on olives, cheeses, and fresh breads, but the action plan was to head straight for the tasting room. It was also crowded. We scurried our way into a tiny gap between tasters, and managed to hand in our tickets at the bar, where we enjoyed many a variety of Township 7’s wines and some great conversation with the pourers and others standing around.
The skinny: I bought a bottle of the 2008 Merlot to go.
The plan: cellar it for at least one more year.
Now, I don’t have a cellar…yet…, so basically, it was kept out of direct light and at a fairly consistent temperature since December 2011. A few weeks ago, I opened it.
Upon initial examination, the wine was a medium ruby colour, and the tears slid quickly down the glass. The bouquet was perfectly plum, dark berry, and cocoa. I just found out through research, that Township 7 actually added 5% Cabernet Sauvignon into this vintage to add more structure. To be honest, I didn’t pick up on any essences of “the king of grapes.” That 95% portion of Merlot held its own; it was big, bold, and very good.
I pinned this puppy at high acid, and medium+ body, with a medium+ intensity on the palate. It was a kick in the jaw at 15.1% alcohol by volume (abv), and for a Merlot, this threw me off just slightly. In the mouth, the characteristics were picture perfect of Merlot: plummy, chocolatey, coffee-y, …*clears throat* cherries, toasted oak, and a medium finish with a nice creaminess to it. The integration of flavours were utterly intoxicating. The oak could not have been more integrated into the wine, and it was a fantastic expression of what BC can do with the Merlot varietal. I wish I had of purchased two bottles, because this vintage could be cellared for another 2 years to boot.
PS: The Holiday Season is upon us! Please don’t drink and drive.