summer-2011-935

The dictionary defines noble as a showing high principles and excellence. After visiting Noble Ridge Winery in Okanagan Falls it is obvious to any wine lover that they aspire to noble ranking in the world of wine.
Jim D’Andrea is one of the owners of Noble Ridge and along with consulting winemaker Phil Soo, and assistant winemaker and vineyard manager Benoit Gauthier they make a formable team. Jim empathizes that all decisions are team based; any one has their say even if they disagree at times. However once a decision is made they all work together to craft some impressive wines.
All outstanding wines no matter where they originate from have one thing in common, meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards. Here within the 22 acres of vineyards you can see that dedication. Each varietal is planted on a very specific site within the vineyards. Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are planted to the cooler breezes of the north and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to the warm southern slopes. The vines are trellised according to the 15 years of observation as to which system works best for each type of grape. Most of the vines use the modified Scott Henry system which is quite unusual for wineries in the Okanagan but result in the finest quality grapes.
At the very top of the quality level are wines knighted King’s Ransom, wines that are carefully selected from only the finest vintages and unlike some Okanagan wineries not automatically released each year. The small amounts made, usually around 100 cases are sold out almost immediately and the King Ransom that was tasted was truly outstanding. Barrels of future Kings Ransom Pinot Noir sampled showed subtle complexity from different sub sections of their Pinot Noir vineyards. If a bottle of this future wine can be obtained, a few years of cellaring would reward the owner with a Pinot Noir that would rival any Grand Cru Burgundy.
Back at the beautiful and elegant tasting room and patio, some of the wines of Noble Ridge were sampled. The Pinot Grigio was dry, elegant with notes of pear, apple and light citrus flavours. A new addition to the winery is the off dry Mingle, a melange of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir. This patio friendly wine was a perfect balance of orchard, tropical fruits and slight honeyed sweetness. The Pinot Noir was filled with cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavours along with a deft touch of spice and vanilla. Be sure to enjoy this wine slightly chilled. The Meritage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, two superior varietals that are grown here. This red displayed black fruits and blueberry with hints of tobacco, clove, cinnamon and sage. Well balanced and priced right for the level of quality this wine displays.
After leaving Noble Ridge down the long and winding road, it is obvious that Noble Ridge stands up to its definition. These wines and the team at Noble Ridge show fine personal qualities that result in an unwavering commitment to producing the finest vintages, impressive in quality and taste and a proud addition to the world class wines of British Columbia.

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