Upper Bench Estate Winery 2011 Merlot - 90-91pts

Upper Bench Estate Winery 2011 Merlot (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $29
Alcohol: 14.7%
Production: 118 cases
Date Tasted: December 4th, 2013

Tasting Notes: A very impressive Merlot produced in difficult vintage conditions thanks to a 2011 growing season that never saw the persistent heat the Bordeaux varieties crave when trying to ripen. However, the season was saved by longer, relatively mild Fall which rewarded disciplined vineyards who reduced their crop to allow the remaining fruit to properly ripen. 

And ripen this Merlot did! No signs of green tannins here. Just pure, intense, balanced, dark berry fruit supported by corner-of-the-mouth curling savoury notes of dark chocolate, leather, vanilla-mocha and light baking spice. Rich, elegant and smooth with just the right amount of tannic grip on the palate. Further development likely after another 1-2 years of bottle age, though, the wine is tasting beautifully today. Drink 2013-2016.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013 IconWines.ca

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