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  • Date publishedSunday, October 18, 2020

Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet/Merlot 2017 and Hands Up Red 2017 (British Columbia) - Wine Reviews

Wine reviews of Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet/Merlot 2017 (90 pts) and Hands Up Red 2017 (86 pts)
wine reviews are a pair of red wine blends from British Columbia that are available in Ontario for the first time!

Monte Creek Ranch Winery is owned by a local B.C. family and supported by a trusted team of on-site professionals to manage daily winery and ranch operations. They are one of four wineries located in the cool climate region of Thompson Valley GI (Geographical Indication) which became BC's newest VQA appellation in 2018, and is located near Kamloops. Since 2009, Monte Creek has been focused on growing strong vineyards and raising healthy animals, with many efforts geared towards sustainability. With an agricultural background, the family understands how important it is to have healthy permaculture - diversity in offering and land use - for successful and sustainable farming, while practicing organic farming methods at every opportunity.

Their 1,200 acre ranch has 75 acres of vines planted at two estate vineyards in the cool climate South Thompson valley - Monte Creek and Lion's Head - where the climate is semi-arid, with hot, dry days and cool nights. Located at the bottom of an old glacial lake, the soils here are rich in calcium and minerals, silty, uniform, and free-draining, thus requiring irrigation. The ultimate focus is to produce premium wines that showcase this unique terroir.

Monte Creek has won numerous awards for its wines, but they are most proud of their 2018 Reserve Riesling which won Best White Wine of the Year (Double Gold) at the 2020 All-Canadian Wine Championships. This was the first time an award of this level was given to a winery in colder climate Thompson Okanagan wine region. To order this dry Riesling in Ontario, you can reach out directly to the winery or contact Perigon Beverage Group (formerly Hobbs and Co.).

Tasting Notes:

MONTE CREEK RANCH CABERNET/MERLOT 2017 - BC VQA, British Columbia, Canada (#15770) (XD) - $23.95
A blend of 69% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc from carefully selected vineyards in Oliver, Osoyoos and Similkameen. It was partially fermented in oak vats, and then aged for 18 months in mostly used French oak barrels. Screw cap. Clean, medium+ intensity aromas of dark fruited currant, cassis, pepper spice, and oak. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with pleasing, fine-grained, and textured tannins and fresh, juicy acidity. More dark berry, cassis, and currant flavours are joined by minty, bay leaf, herbs, tobacco, and plum notes that add interest and complexity. Savoury with graphite and cedar oak notes linger on the long, juicy, slightly grippy finish. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years. Recommended buy. Arriving in LCBO VINTAGES . Score: 90 pts

Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet/Merlot 2017 (90 pts)Monte Creek Hands Up Red 2017 (86 pts)

MONTE CREEK HANDS UP RED 2017 - British Columbia, Canada (#15769) (XD) - $21.95
Hands Up pays homage to the area's past as the town of Monte Creek achieved fame after the last train robbery by the notorious "Gentleman Bandit" Bill Miner - whose photo is on the front label. A blend of predominantly Merlot, plus some Frontenac Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon that was mostly aged in large French oak tanks, with a smaller portion in barrel. Screw cap. The perfumed nose is very ripe with cassis and black cherry with some earthy, beetroot, and strawberry characters in a slightly jammy profile. It's medium+ bodied on the ripe palate with more jammy dark fruit and oak flavours. It has food-friendly acidity, while tannins are soft and rounded. Jammy fruit and oak notes linger on the finish, with good length. Crowd pleaser. Arrived in LCBO VINTAGES . Score: 86 pts


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