Saturday, 27 September 2014

Wine Review - Moon Curser Tempranillo 2012

Tasting Note

Luscious deep plum colour. Bold cherry aromas with lashings of savoury spice and vanillin. Opulent dark fruits on the palate and already some toffee and leathery notes developing. Quite powerful for a tempranillo.

Tasted: 22 September 2014

Alcohol: 13.8%

Price: $29.00
Closure: Screw Cap
Winemaker: Chris Tolley
Viticulturist: Brian Dorosz

Okanagan Valley - Osoyoos

After a long weekend of driving and sightseeing, it was a relaxing and easy-to-prep meal of paprika spiced lamb chops with which I enjoyed this wine.

Cellar Door Visit
On my way back from a wonderful long weekend in the Kootenays, I just couldn't help myself but stop by at least one winery as I re-entered the Okanagan Valley. I figured, being the the furthest South East by car from my home in Oliver, Moon Curser was much less likely to receive a bicycle visit, particular as it is perched up on the slopes overlooking Osoyoos.

To give you an overview of the vibe at this well-branded winery, I could not put the words together better than they did in their visitor brochure:
'Named after moolight-evading gold rush smugglers, Moon Curser pursues clandestine (and some would say fascinating) grape varieties like Touriga Nacionale and Tannat, with an occasional Syrah or Bordeaux thrown in for diversion'.

During my visit, the winemaker's father was behind the pouring bench and he took the time to patiently answer my questions. Through this, I learned that most of their vineyards are within 'tractor distance' of the winery (bar the Pinot Noir) and that they have a few alternative varietals, primarily sourced from the institute at UC Davis in California.

Here is a quick summary of a few other wines from Moon Curser that I particularly enjoyed:

Afraid of the Dark 2013
This was the only white wine currently available (a sign of popularity). Being a blend of Roussanne (44%), Viognier (37%) and Marsanne (19%) one would expect an aromatic nose. It had it in spades with delicate stonefruit, guava and floral notes all present. This transpired to citrus flavours in the mouth, creating a fresh finish to the wine.

Pinot Noir 2012
Possibly the last year the wine will be made due to sale of the vineyard. The wine had a bruised plum colour and aroma combined with some earthy notes (mushrooms) and a real savouriness. On the palate, I could not find much fruit but there was a strong flavour of smoked almond and also strong tannins. Very different offering to the other pinots of the Okanagan that I have tried.

Contraband Syrah 2012
Some of the free run juice from this wine is taken using the saignee (bleeding off) method to produce their rose, which results in a wine of intense concentration. Surpringly, on the nose I found cinammon and giner spices as well as some candied orange peel. The wine had excellent structure with deep fruit flavours and finely tuned tannins. My favourite of the tasting.

Dead of Night 2011
Made up of 50% Tannat (Moon Curser were the only growers in the Valley until this year) and 50% Syrah, the nose had some violet and tobacco aromas mixed in with black fruits. Again, I detected some smoked almond flavours coming through. The tannins were slightly 'furry' but I suspect they will settle down and mellow out over a few more years. Keep an eye out for a possible 100% Tannat in future...