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Burrowing Owl Merlot 2018

Canada, British Columbia
92 WA
92 WA
92 WA
92 WA
Burrowing Owl Merlot 2018

Year after year, Merlot is a standout variety in the Okanagan Valley, particularly with Burrowing Owl.  Another outstanding wine!

Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Okanagan Valley
Producer Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Vintage 2018
Color Red Wine
Varietal(s) Merlot
¥5,500

Year after year, Merlot is a standout variety in the Okanagan Valley, particularly with Burrowing Owl.  Another outstanding wine!

Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Okanagan Valley
Producer Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Vintage 2018
Color Red Wine
Varietal(s) Merlot
Data
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 14%
Product Code B005R00318
UPC 688229003189
Inventory In Stock (150)
Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

A bright, fresh, silky and complex Merlot with lots of black plum, baking spice, ripe raspberry, mixed brambly berries with violet and lavender floral notes, cocoa, marzipan and vanilla and some Earl Grey tea, burlap and cedar. The palate is full-bodied with firm ripe tannins, refreshing acidity, a velvety texture and flavours of plum pudding, black cherry, hazelnut, chilli spiced dark chocolate, paprika, dried sage with some graphite notes on the long finish. It has the structure to age and develop for over a decade.

Rhys Pender, Master of Wine

Pairing

Pair this with lamb shanks braised in star anise and clove infused red wine or vegan chorizo tacos. 

Cellaring

Cellar through 2032

Press
92WineAlign
John Szabo, MS.  Burrowing Owl has produced a fine merlot in 2018, ripe, fresh and glycerous, with very nicely integrated barrel influence, uncommonly fine and supple tannins (relative to the Okanagan mean), and succulent acids. Length and depth are also excellent. A balanced wine that should have a long drinking window all in all, starting now and extending late into the decade. Tasted November 2020.
92WineAlign
Sara d'Amato.  A youthful, fruity and vibrant merlot. Offering very good concentration and impressive complexity. Tannins are on the bitter side and the wine is notably intense at present. Very good length. Best 2022-2025. Tasted November 2020.
92WineAlign
David Lawrason.  This is a bit lighter and fresher than anticipated and than previous vintages, perhaps due to the cooler 2018 season. And I like the effect. It shows lifted blackberry fruit, with florality, herbs and light smokiness. It is more juicy with some heat; and tannins are quite fine. The length is excellent. Tasted November 2020
92WineAlign
Janet Dorozynski.  A brighter, dialed back version of merlot from the south Okanagan's Burrowing Owl winery. Dark fruit and berry notes with hints of spice greet the nose followed by well integrated oak with plush tannins. Medium bodied with great structure and a long mocha cassis finish. Well done! Tasted November 2020.
Production

Appellation

BC VQA Okanagan Valley

Vintage Notes

2018 was a moderate growing season that started with an earlier budbreak and a warmer than average May. The season cooled during the summer months and rebounded with favourable September and October temperatures. The cooperative weather allowed us to retain acidity and provide quality fruit with increased crop levels. While the sun and heat create intense fruit flavours, the cool evenings preserve the natural acidity in the grapes keeping the wine fresh and lively.

Viticulture

The grapes were harvested by hand from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery’s vineyards in Oliver and Osoyoos between October 9th and 18th.

Vinification

Grapes were destemmed and gently crushed before being fed by gravity flow into stainless tanks for a cold soak of four days prior to approximately two weeks of alcoholic fermentation. Both free run wine and pressed wine were then moved into barrels for malolactic fermentation followed by fourteen months of ageing. The selection of barrels helped round out the tannins, and contributed complex savoury, toasted and spicy notes. After the blending of the barrels, the wine was bottled unfiltered and left to mature in bottle until its release.

Producer

Producer Description

It's All About The Wines

The winery and vineyard lie within one of Canada's most unique ecosystems which includes the northernmost tip of the Sonora Desert. The location (on a southwest-tilting, sandy plateau) near the north end of Osoyoos Lake, is one of the most highly rated grape-growing locations in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, and for that matter Canada. In 1993, when Jim Wyse began to replant the vineyards which had been carefully selected for their ability to produce world class, premium quality grapes, the winery was not part of his long term vision. Having recognized the potential of this location, Jim was gratified to see wines made with his grapes gaining immediate recognition. Finally, the decision to build Burrowing Owl Estate Winery was confirmed and a winery license was obtained in 1997. Construction began in early1998 and completed just in time for that year's harvest. The site has since been enhanced with a beautiful fine-dining Restaurant and luxurious Guest House.

One of Canada's most unique ecosystems

The varied and deceptively fragile desert ecosystems within the adjoining vineyards continually challenge the environmentally sensitive team at Burrowing Owl. Alternative pest control systems are the standard. More than 100 bluebird boxes and two bat nurseries invite insect-eating guests to stay awhile and dine in the vineyards. Ground nests of meadowlarks are protected by barriers in springtime to prevent farm machinery and vineyard workers from inadvertently destroying them. Snakes are safely relocated. Bears and big horned sheep are discouraged from sharing the harvest but never harmed.

Today, with its dramatic vantage point in the middle of the vineyard, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is a winemaking facility that combines state-of-the-art technologies with proven, classic winemaking traditions. A gravity-flow system handles ripe grapes delicately, preserving their rich fruit character. Extensive underground cellaring capacity ensures that long term barrel aging is never limited by space.

Vineyards in Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos

The winery owns and manages all of the vineyard land growing grapes for the Burrowing Owl wines. The land base consists of 210 acres of producing vineyards distributed between three different locations: Black Sage (the  original 145 acre site) which contains an equal amount of red and white grapes, Osoyoos (54 acres on the eastern slopes above Osoyoos Lake, home to Bordeaux varietals and Syrah reds) and Keremeos (11 acres of Sauvignon Blanc in the Similkameen Valley). In total 16 varietals are grown and tended by a qualified and dedicated vineyard team.

Still, it takes special skills to turn these assets into fine wines. Their vineyard managers contribute a wealth of knowledge and experience that is unsurpassed in the valley. Their dedicated team takes special pride in the success of these vineyards. And of course, they work closely with the winemaking team at Burrowing Owl to co-ordinate crop levels, ripeness targets, and the many other parameters necessary to produce only the finest quality wine.

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