2014 BC Wine Awards: A Premier for Platinum

wine flight at BC Wine Awards

Flight of fancy, complete with ‘silver bullet’

Last week I was privileged to spend the best part of three days with a very focused group of wine judges from BC, across Canada and Kansas City.

I’m convinced that, aside from an overall willingness to truly work together, the right setting enhances the process. As it turned out, with its ‘collegial’ personality, super staff, and cosy ‘character’ feeling, The Naramata Heritage Inn was the perfect place to judge.

Naramata Heritage Inn,

Naramata Heritage Inn, home of this year’s BC Wine Awards judging

Awards results always make for interesting study. When the spitting was all done, I’d say we came up with a pretty convincing line-up of winners. You can glean the entire list at the link below. But before you leave, here’s a run-down of what’s new and noteworthy—a few highlights from this year’s medal haul.

First Time Platinum

BC Wine Award Platinum winners

BC Wine Awards, Platinum winners, including See Ya Later Ranch Rover—Premier’s Award

This year the Okanagan Wine Festival introduced a Platinum tier,  representing the top one percent of entries, with one wine singled out from that select group for the Premier’s Award. While there has been the odd platinum nod in the past, this year marks the the first formal ranking. I’d be remiss not to mention them all, as they really do represent the pinnacle of all the wines entered, as well as comprising an interesting cross section of varieties and wineries.

Baillie Grohman Cabernet Franc 2012

Quails Gate ‘The Boswell’ Syrah 2012 (25th Anniversary range)

See Ya Later Ranch Rover Shiraz – Viognier 2012 / Premier’s Award

Silkscarf Viognier 2013

Spierhead Pinot Gris 2013

As you can see, there’s a strong showing for Syrah / Shiraz, a theme that echoed through the contest. Both of those awarded were extremely convincing contenders.

Not to be overlooked by any means is the impressive haul also of gold medals for Syrah—and  blends (Sandhill Phantom Creek, Stag’s Hollow, Thornhaven, Moon Curser).

Baillie Grohman Cabernet Franc ((powerful and polished, with a seductive, juicy acidity and elegant viscosity) while made in Creston, is actually Okanagan grown. (Winemaker Dan Barker is a stickler for using the best fruit he can find. Point proven.)

Silkscarf’s Viognier is no stranger to praise. A textbook offering, it won Best of Varietal in the Okanagan Spring Festival.

Rounding out this elite group, Spierhead well structured, tropical toned Pinot Gris rose to the top through a field of (as tends to be the case in BC) very varied styles.

In the ‘don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ category, it was gratifying to see Saxon Winery’s plush and plummy Léon Millot come through for a gold, while, more esoteric but still worthy Mooberry Raspberry and Meadow Vista Ostara Honey Wine also grabbed gold.

I’m reluctant to single out wines that we collectively medalled. Suffice to say that any wine winning gold here was subjected to pretty rigorous scrutiny and deserves to be at that level.

You can find all of the awards here

Naramata Inn verandah

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:15+00:00 October 1st, 2014|Wine|1 Comment

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.

One Comment

  1. […] New to the B.C. Wine Awards, judges this year picked five wines to receive Platinum Awards. From that group was then chosen the best of the best, which received the Premier’s Award. And the inaugural winner: See Ya Later Ranch’s 2012 Rover, a Shiraz-Viogner blend. Tim Pawsey talks about the judging process here. […]

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