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Valerie Stride

Valerie Stride WSET ADV

Black Hills Estate Winery Nota Bene 2008

Okanagan Valley, Bc, Canada
2204 days ago

Valerie scored this wine: 94/100

A fantastic year for Nota Bene, and the 13th leaf in the vineyard. This wine is developing nice and slow. I imagine it to be "the wise one". Peppercorn, leather, coffee, mocha, chocolate, and vanilla all work intrepidly with the plum, cherry, and raspberry fruits on the bouquet. The firm tannin structure on the palate and high acidity means this wine can sit down for a while. In my notes I called this vintage "dark and mysterious". Earthy, spicy, fruity...this vintage shows something from all categories. The long length just means you can sit and enjoy this wine for a long time! [Cabernet Sauvignon 48%, 41% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc]

Nota Bene

Black Hills Estate Winery Nota Bene Meritage 2011

Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada
2204 days ago

Valerie scored this wine: 92/100

A cooler year in the Okanagan, but Black Hills did well! Deep ruby colours entrance you into the creamy black cherry nose, cassis heaven, and chorus of tobacco, vanilla, and toast. Firm tannins stand proud on the palate, and this medium bodied wine is sure to last in the cellar. Drinking now, however, you can enjoy black fruits, thyme, chocolate, and vanilla spice. Very well balanced for such a young wine, this vintage will definitely hold its own for years to come. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Welcome to the Okanagan's potential.

Nota Bene

Black Hills Estate Winery Nota Bene Blend - Meritage 2006

Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada
2204 days ago

Valerie scored this wine: 92/100

Glenn Fawcett, President of Black Hills Estate, said that this was the best year for brix in the vineyard. This vintage is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, respectively. A developing, medium intensity wine, I was immediately surprised with hints of mint/eucalyptus in this wine! It was great to detect that herbaceousness in a Cabernet Sauvignon from the interior. Resinous spices danced around the red fruits and notes of earth, tobacco leaf, and leather. On the palate, this dry wine is medium bodied, and has a medium intensity with mocha, dried spices, dirt, and notes of olive. This was the top pick at the Vertical Tasting, and now you know why!

Nota Bene

Black Hills Estate Winery Nota Bene 2004

Okanagan Valley, Bc, Canada
2204 days ago

Valerie scored this wine: 91/100

The 2004 growing year resembled 1999; it was not as hot, but still quite warm. This resulted in a solid growing season for all of the grapes on property. The 2004 vintage is one of the lighter coloured wines, but one of the most interesting in regards to fruitiness! Still developing as a result of oaking, the bouquet is bursting with red fruits - bright red plums, firm cherries, raspberries, and a touch of rhubarb and currant. A dabble of tobacco and chocolate are thrown in for good measure. This dry red has a soft tannin structure, with an elegant toasted wood character. (Cherry & rhubarb pie with a hint of vanilla ice cream to boot!) The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon (46%), Merlot (36%), Cabernet Franc (18%).

2516 days ago

Valerie scored this wine: 90/100

Matured in oak, this wine is a beauty! For a 2001 vintage, it is ageing gracefully. This Tempranillo boasts of brambleberry, cherry, blackberry, and sweet vanilla. Being full bodied and high acid, the palate shows soured cherry, redcurrants, and spicy, smooth, smokey, and velvety vanilla from the oaking. The tannins are still present, but are not overwhelming or astringent. For the quality, this wine is a total STEAL! Thank you, Spain!

Valerie Stride

Wine BloggerVisit Valerie's Website

Memorable Wine

My first Moscato d'Asti *sigh*

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First Wine

Some Italian red that my Italian grandpa fed me off his pinky finger

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Unusual Wine Experience

Smelling parmesan cheese notes in a Washington State blended white wine.

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Current Fav Wine

I recently started on an Ehrenfelser kick.

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Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award