Blackwood Lane 2006 The Referènce - 95+pts

Blackwood Lane 2006 The Referènce (Langley) Fraser Valley - BC

Availablity: Private wines shops. Direct from winery.

Cost: $90 (winery gate) $105 (private shops)

Alcohol: 14.2%

Date Tasted: March 27th, 2010

Tasting Notes: Aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, baked blueberries, graphite, slate, tobacco and baking spice are so intense they seem to fill-up the room. Concentrated flavours of dark fruits, cherry nibs and savory toasted-oak greet you on the full-bodied palate whose exquisite, silky-smooth texture simply makes you smile. A very long, balanced finish completes the experience.

The backbone of this free-run juice, Bordeaux-style blend is the fabulous and refined Cabernet Sauvignon from the U2 block of the Nk'Mip vineyard in Osoyoos grown under the direction of Sam Baptiste. The winemaker, Charles Herrold, then adds elements of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot to the blend as a master painter would mix oils on his palate to create the perfect colour. To complete his masterpiece, only new French oak from four of the best forests is used and the wine is aged separately. Each forest imparts a unique characteristic to the final blend.

This attention to detail and use of elite components is all done to add complexity to the wine. Time must be taken with this wine to fully appreciate the complexity as it changes in the glass revealing hidden layers and clues to its secrets. It's an experience to drink The Referènce, Canada's most expensive, and possibly best, table wine.

This elegant wine has been structured to last a long time with its good acidity and fine tannins. However, you may find it hard to lock up in your cellar and forget about it - this wine, once tasted, stays on your mind. If you do choose to cellar, have confidence that it will last 10+ years. Drink now through 2018.
 - Liam Carrier

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