May 16, 2012

SOWF #5: Eau Vivre

Our next stop on our Similkameen journey was Eau Vivre. This is a very unassuming little winery, presumably a husband and wife operation although I have very little background on this place. I think they only make four wines, and we got to try them all. Holy smoke - what a find! And for around twenty bucks these were some of the very best value wines we came across.

Our rule of thumb is to try to purchase one bottle per winery, since they all have to be brought back on the plane. We bought three here, everything but the Gewurz (I just can't bring myself to call it "goo"). We have a family vacation planned for the Okanagan in July; we may just have to drag the kids out to Cawston to scoop up a few more bottles.

  • Gewurztraminer 2009 ($17)
Light in colour, with intense nose of white flowers, orange blossoms and candied fruit.  The palate is equally balanced with soft acids and lush fruit mouth feel that is produced in the classic dry but fruity style.  Designed with medium body and plush rich fruit this wine has the profile of a much sweeter wine.  This small lot production of 2009 Gewurztraminer is made from 100% Similkameen grapes.  With only 200 cases produced, this very popular wine is building a following of fans and will surely sell out.

89 points. Floral but not syrupy. Fresh.

  • Chardonnay 2008 ($18)
A nice pale straw colour shows that this wine has a great aging potential. The nose smells of honey, with a baked pastry component, leading to apple pie and pear. Hints of citrus and stone fruit on the nose as well. The palette is intense and balanced, with apple and lemon curd, white peach and nectarines, showing a full round mouth feel but enough acidity to give it good length and freshness. Very versatile food wine, that can pair well with seafood, but has the acidity to cut through creamy dishes as well. 

90 points. Complex, sweet and tart, bright, good acidity balance.

  • Pinot Noir 2008 ($19)
On the nose it is constantly developing, starting with typical cherry and cranberry before leading into more earthy tones and the darker side of this wonderful variety. The longer this is open the more complex it becomes as the fruit nose subsides and the leathery and soy notes come forward. Built with some considerable structure, despite having very little oak on nose or palette. The wine has great intensity and length, tannins taking the fruit and acidity long into the finish. Great balance. Drinking well now and will age wonderfully for years to come. 

91 points. Only two other wineries had a 91 point wine on our tour - Fairview and Laughing Stock. That's pretty exclusive company for Eau Vivre. "Warm, smooth, chocolate and sweet tones. Wow." (That's a direct quote from my notes.) A preposterous value.

  • Cabernet Franc 2009 ($22)
Fermented on the skins for 18 days to extract deep dark color, this wine was aged in French Oak barrels. The aromas boldly convey the grape variety's floral and herbal character, in this case suggesting tobacco and spice. On the palate spice and pepper enhance those characteristics and finish dry. This wines style has serious charm and complexity and will excite fans of cool-climate Cab Franc fans. Only 270 cases produced in 2009 from 100% Okanagan Valley grapes.

90 points.

1 comment:

  1. I was introduced to this winery a few weeks ago. I agree, their Pinot Noir and Cab Franc are worth celebrating. Delicious.