This pure expression of Merlot opens with enticing scents of Italian plum, cherry, malt, sage and mocha. A mouth-filling and expansively round palate follows of plum, earth, dark chocolate and alfalfa. Smooth, rich and delicious, our premium Reserve Merlot pairs nicely with grilled Ribeye and a corn and blue cheese polenta. Enjoy now or cellar for up to 7 years.
Winemaker: Robert Summers
Growing conditions: The 2015/16 winter was relatively mild with no extended periods of major freezing, resulting in uniform bud break. Spring was one of the driest on record; with Growing Degree Days (GDDs) the highest ever recorded in May. These warm, dry conditions resulted in bud break two weeks earlier than anticipated. The warm temperatures continued through June, suggesting that harvest could commence as much as a month earlier than normal. However, temperatures changed in July; making it the fourth coldest July on record. This cooling July trend, combined with some unseasonal rain, slowed down the ripening process resulting in beautifully complex flavours. Cool fall nights ensured great acid structure. Harvest commenced in early September, much earlier than normal. Overall, the 2016 vintage was outstanding for both whites and reds.
Winemaking notes: Crafted from some of the oldest Merlot vines on our estate, Block 2 consistently offers an opulent fruit-driven wine. Harvested by hand in mid-October, the fruit was gently fermented to dryness in our Italian Ganimedi fermenters. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak, with only tightly grained barrels used for this vintage of our premium Reserve Merlot. Following barrel aging, the cuvée was blended for structure, complexity and a rich depth of flavour. Enjoy now or cellar for up to 7 years.
Wines in Niagara - Rick Vansickle (Dec 2018) : 92 pts
The fruit for this wine come from vines planted in the early 1970s. The wine was aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels. It is a beautiful Merlot that shows restraint and elegance on the nose with notes of black cherries, plums, currants, anise, herbs, spice and cocoa. It’s quite smooth and rich on the palate with thick cherry fruit, currants, black licorice and layered with elegant spice and length through the finish.
Wine Scores - Daenna Van Mulligen (Jan 2019) : 90 pts
Savoury, supple, smoky.
Hester Creek was established in 1968 and the Block 2 Merlot vines (some of the oldest in the Okanagan) were planted in the early 70s.
Smoked plums and cherries lead the nose, next carob, vanilla, dried herbs and a potpourri of cedar chips and dried flowers. For the palate, think meaty--like salty bacon layered with spices and dark cocoa.
Supple and savoury to be certain.
Pair: Roast chicken, rack of lamb, hearty vegetable or bean stews.
John Schreiner at Goodgrog - John Schreiner (Feb 2019) : 92 pts
This wine, made from the oldest Merlot block on the Hester Creek estate, was aged 16 months in barrel (75% French, 25% American). A concentrated wine, it begins with aromas of cherry, plum, mocha and spice. It delivers flavours of plum, cherry, black currant, vanilla and chocolate.