Clos du Soleil, Grower’s Series, Makepeace Merlot, BC VQA Similkameen Valley, 2011, 13.8% abv

I’ve been away from wine for a while taking distilled spirits courses and drinking more than I’ve wanted of 40% abv beverages. After all, I signed up for the WSET Diploma to learn more about wines. I just forgot what the ‘S’ in Wine and Spirit Education Trust stood for.

But, assuming I passed the exam last week (we’ll know in 3 months), I can safely go back to my wines and finish off the last monster of a course next June. With that, I celebrate with this Similkameen Valley beauty.

Clear and bright, deep ruby turning to purple with deep legs, this wine is clean and developing. It has medium plus intensity with aromas of blueberry, sweet tobacco, clove, cedar and granite. Is it unfiltered? I can’t find any reference to this on the online description. It spent 18 glorious months in US and European oak (please which kind – Troncais, Limousin, Alliers?)

The palate is dry with very high acidity, medium plus body, medium alcohol and medium fine-grained tannins. It has medium plus intensity with flavour characteristics of blueberry, boysenberry and loganberry, damson plum and pomegranate. Soft tobacco with mocha-espresso, baking spice (more clove and nutmeg with vanilla), kid leather gloves and licorice support the fruit. It has a long and lingering finish.

WSET ‘Very Good++’ wine – the complexity of the fruit and the balancing act between tannins, acidity, fruit and secondary characteristics is seamless and so clean in true Clos du Soleil style. This will age beautifully for at least 5-7 more years. I’m quite sure though I won’t be able to hold onto the other bottles.

I need to make a trip to Keremeos soon.

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2 comments on “Clos du Soleil, Grower’s Series, Makepeace Merlot, BC VQA Similkameen Valley, 2011, 13.8% abv

  1. Thanks so much for your comments on our Grower’s Series Merlot! We are very pleased that you enjoyed it, and hope to see you in Keremeos soon. To answer your questions, the Merlot has just a light filtration prior to bottling, in order to minimize any impact on the aromatics or structure. And it was indeed aged in a combination of American oak and French barrels. For the American oak we used oak sourced from Minnesota as it has a more delicate contribution to aromatics, and a nice tight grain. And the French oak barrels were from Bertranges. We love questions, so thanks for asking!

    All the best to you,
    Mike Clark
    Managing Director
    Clos du Soleil Winery

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