Five weeks ago in this space, I declared the pale and delicious Sandhill 2018 Rose ($20) my new favourite pink.
I’m proclaiming a tie for best-loved now that I’ve relished the Quails’ Gate 2018 Lucy’s Block Rose ($25).
This blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir from the West Kelowna winery ticks all the right boxes with a delicate coral colour and aromas and flavours of juicy watermelon and strawberry with a slight herbaceousness.
My wife, Kerry, and I savoured the Lucy’s Block on its own on the deck and paired it with goat-cheese-and- strawberry salad.
Quails’ Gate winemaker Ross Baker has also crafted five 2018 vintage white wines that are also perfect for summer sipping.
– Lime, apple, wet stone and orange blossom. It’s all there in this classically styled 2018 Dry Riesling ($17).
– Quails’ Gate is one of the few Okanagan wineries to make a Chenin Blanc ($24) and it does it so well.
It’s a complex wine offering up everything from lemon, apple and pear to fresh-cut hay.
– Quails’ Gate is also one of only a handful of Valley vintners to work with the Swiss varietal Chasselas.
For its 2018 Chasselas-Pinot Blanc-Pinot Gris ($18), the grape is ther 60% lead in a blend that serves up aromas and flavours of white flower, lime, peach and pear.
– Two Gewurztraminers are on offer from Quails’ Gate.
The Collector Series Orchard Block Gewurztraminer 2018 ($22) is a special, fuller-bodied, intense and off-dry interpretation of the grape displaying peach, lychee, rosewater and clove.
The 2018 Gewurztraminer ($17) is simplier, but still tasty with all an off-dry profile of grapefruit, lychee, pear and papaya.
Initially, there’s fresh burst of white grapefruit, then peaches and cream, nectarine, apricot and even some ginger.
It’s what the Hester Creek 2018 Pinot Blanc ($16) serves up in spades.
The Pinot Blanc is widely available at the winery, online, government and private liquor stores and restaurants.
However, the Oliver winery has also made a wine that’s available only at select Save-On Foods grocery stores.
The 2018 Pinot Gris-Viognier ($20) is an aromatic and honeyed offering of melon, lime and pear.
The word electric is so provocative when used in a wine context.
It hints of a vintage that’s intriguing, gripping and enthralling.
That’s why Moraine Estate Winery in Naramata is so comfortable describing its 2018 Riesling ($20.50) as having an electric palate.
The lime, green apple and floral profile has the kind of tension that finishes clean and mouthwatering.
Moraine winemaker Dwight Sick says the Riesling has a high evaporation rate, meaning you’ll want to drink more and more of it.
He also suggests you enjoy it with sushi or simply on its own.
Being made from grapes grown in the mineral-rich Anastasia Vineyard in Naramata means the Moraine 2018 Pinot Gris ($19.50) has hints of pear, nectarine and nuts with a chalky, stoney backbone.
Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris combine to create Moraine 2018 Cliffhanger White ($16).
Expect pear and peach from the Pinot Gris and some spicy, off-dry contribution from the Gewurtz.
Just because we’re on the brink of summer, it doesn’t mean you have to drink exclusively whites and roses.
Enter the Stag’s Hollow 2017 Dolcetto ($22), a red that’svibrant enough for warm-weather sipping, but earthy enough to enjoy when the mercury dips.
Bright cherry and raspberry aromas and flavours make Dolcetto, a northern Italy varietal, ideal for the patio or barbecue.
Its darker plum, leather and spice profile pairs well with pizza, pasta and beef.
At the other end of the spectrum, Okanagan Falls’ Stag’s Hollow has also fashioned a perfumed, light and spritzy Muscat Frizzante 2018 ($22).
Don’t be fooled by Muscat’s reputation for being sweet.
This bubbly blend of Orange Muscat, Muscat Ottonel and Riesling is fermented dry to be zesty and refreshing.
Expect a fresh punch of peach, pear and honeysuckle that’s so versatile you’ll find yourself drinking it on its own, with breakfas or brunch or matched with salad, charcuterie seafood and chicken.
The French cross of Ugni Blanc and Rayon d’Or called Vidal isn’t a hybrid you hear much of in the Okanagan.
Usually its used to make ice wine in Ontario.
But Stag’s Hollow has put Vidal to good use in its home vineyard of gravel and course glacial till.
The resulting grapes, picked late so they were a bit Botrytis (mold) affected, made for a lush Tragically Vidal 2017 ($17).
Peach and apricot aromas and flavours are joined by mango and lemon.
Such a ripe wine can be a patio sipper or the perfect foil for spicy curry, Mexican or Thai food.
Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend’s business and wine reporter and columnist. Reach him at email@example.com.