International sommeliers have high-praise for Okanagan wine

The fourth-annual Judgment of BC brought 40 top wine professionals to the Okanagan from around the world.

DJ Kearney holds up the the top sparkling wine overall, the Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV from California, and the top B.C. sparkling wine, the Blue Mountain Vineyard Blanc de Blancs 2010 R.D., chosen by the judges. Image: Carmen Weld

DJ Kearney holds up the the top sparkling wine overall, the Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV from California, and the top B.C. sparkling wine, the Blue Mountain Vineyard Blanc de Blancs 2010 R.D., chosen by the judges. Image: Carmen Weld

The takeaway at the annual Judgment of BC event Wednesday evening was that wine professionals around the world are celebrating B.C. wine.

The fourth-annual event brought 40 top wine professionals from around the world and across the country to Kelowna, including international Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Isa Bal, and Master of Wine Rhys Pender (regarded as the highest professional qualifications in the wine industry).

Those wine experts took part in a blind tasting of B.C.’s celebrated wine categories, traditional method sparkling wine and Bordeaux-style red blends. Some of B.C.’s best was tasted alongside global benchmarks in their categories.

“B.C. did very, very well,” said DJ Kearney, judge, wine educator and global wine expert.

“This is not about win or lose, good or bad. The fact B.C. wines were chosen were exemplars, superbly made wines that are really representative of what we do here in B.C. There was a lot of identity in these wines, in addition to tremendous skill in both farming and winemaking.”

The Poplar Grove Winery 2014 The Legacy from the Okanagan Valley took top spot overall in the red-blend category.

“It had that wonderful crossover character with old-world structure and quality and new-world fruit generosity and weight, and our signature acidity. It is so well made and so well balanced, a worthy winner,” said Kearney.

In the sparkling wine category, the Blue Mountain Vineyard Blanc de Blancs 2010 R.D. from the Okanagan came in fourth overall behind two champagnes and a California sparkling made by a champagne house.

“In my mind they lead the way in high-quality sparkling wines. It is very champagne-like. While we are not trying to emulate champagne, it has fabulous concentration and complexity and length and a beautiful terroir quality. It has a chalkiness to it that I am sure made a lot of people think it was champagne,” she said.

Related: B.C. takes the throne during 2018 All Canadian Wine Championships

Related: Okanagan wineries impress on Expedia.ca list

On top of the wines being rated overall against each other, the panel of judges were also challenged to see if they could pick out which wines were B.C. Wines. Kearney said 60-70 per cent of the judges were able to pick out the B.C. wine.

“We had a discussion at the end about how you identify B.C. wines and it is this very special thing that we do that is so unique and so specific to our wines. As soon as you lock into it, it is memorable,” said Kearney.

“That is the conjunction of high natural acidity and tremendous fruit ripeness. Impeccable phenolic development. It takes a very specific climate to do that. We have a signature savoury, herbal component.”

Inspired by the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976, as famously depicted in the Hollywood blockbuster “Bottle Shock,” the inaugural Judgment of BC hosted in 2015 by the BC Wine Institute in honour of Steven Spurrier’s visit to British Columbia, has become a pivotal event for the BC Wine Industry.

“The purpose of the Judgment is to benchmark ourself. We are a young, emerging, fast-growing wine region, but we are on the edge of nowhere. We are so marginal,” explained Kearney. “The world is hearing about us bit by bit, but we are quite isolated. We are young, our vines are young so it is important for us to see, at least annually, how we fair against industry archetypes.”

Prior to the Judgment of BC event these wine professionals spent four days in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys attending educational masterclasses, regional tastings, panel discussions and interactive wine and food pairing experiences where they had the opportunity to learn, taste and celebrate the wines of British Columbia.

The top five red blend wines were;

  1. Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy 2014 from Penticton, B.C.
  2. Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2015 from Penticton, B.C.
  3. Blackbird Arise 2015 from the Napa Valley
  4. Dominus Estate Napanook 2014 from the Napa Valley
  5. Intersection Estate Winery Axiom 2014 from Oliver, B.C.

The top rate sparkling wines were;

  1. Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV from California
  2. Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV from France
  3. Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut XIII from France
  4. Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars Blanc de Blancs 2010 from Okanagan Falls, B.C.
  5. Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery The One 2012 from Okanagan Falls, B.C.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy 2014 from the Okanagan Valley won top spot in the red-blend category beating out wines from around the world. Image: Carmen Weld

The Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy 2014 from the Okanagan Valley won top spot in the red-blend category beating out wines from around the world. Image: Carmen Weld

DJ Kearney shows off the second place winner in the sparkling wine category, the Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV from France. Image: Carmen Weld

DJ Kearney shows off the second place winner in the sparkling wine category, the Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV from France. Image: Carmen Weld

The fourth annual Judgment of BC was held at Hotel Eldorado on Oct. 24, 2018. Image: Carmen Weld

The fourth annual Judgment of BC was held at Hotel Eldorado on Oct. 24, 2018. Image: Carmen Weld

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
West Kelowna fire crews respond to injured mountain biker

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

Most Read