It’s easy to see bright new objects, for they glisten in the sun awarded them simply for being new. Yet hidden beyond the glare of shiny in the British Columbia wine world are a few who have kept pace through the thick and thin, growing from what was once an emerging wine region and into what now can be considered a developing place. One such winery is See Ya Later Ranch. Changes in ownership, but still here.
Life on “the Ranch” began in the 1920s with a storied past complete with a legendary character and cute animals. Locals once knew this steeply sloped site as Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards, which eventually became part of the Great Estates of the Okanagan. However you know it, See Ya Later is now synonymous with easy drinking BC wines that deliver good value for an entry level price.
Who: See Ya Later Ranch
What: portfolio samples
Where: Okanagan Falls, British Columbia
When: September 15, 2017
Portfolio standout: none, really, just a decent little lineup
2016 Pinot Gris (sample)
for: anyone who thinks pinot gris is too light – this one has nice texture
100% pinot gris | alcohol 13.5% | RS 4 g/L | TA 6.5 | pH 3.6
Slightly salmon-pink, this is a pinot gris that appears to have had some skin contact and definitely spent some time in oak (40%). A touch perfume-y in the glass, sipping brings a lovely mid-weight wine with good viscosity and bright, ripe fruit – think peaches and nectarines with a bit of spice. Good acidity means I can drink this with or without food. Lovely, pretty, and varietally correct. Not a soft gris, but that’s okay.
2016 Chardonnay (sample)
for: welcoming you back to the world of chardonnay, easily
100% chardonnay | alcohol 13.7% | RS 4.0 g/L | TA 7.8 | pH 3.47
Pale and quiet, this chardonnay is reluctant to give up much on first inhale. A bit of beeswax, a hint of tropical fruits. Sipping brings refreshing mouth-watering acidity (that 7.8 / 3.47 noted above) with a crisp and dry finish that doesn’t linger for too long, but just long enough to remind you it’s a chardonnay. A lighter hand on the use of oak (French and American). No butter-bomb here. A touch on the warm side (alcohol is somewhat noticeable on second sip), but with some food it would likely diminish. Sense of place? I’m not convinced, but it’s a nice chard I could easily get behind on a Wednesday. Or whenever.
2015 Ping – Meritage (sample)
for: those who want a big red wine and haven’t the patience for it to mellow
56% merlot, 29% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cabernet franc | alcohol 14.5% | RS 4 g/L | TA 7.51 | pH 3.56
Repeat after me: meritage, as in rhymes with heir-it-age. Not merit-ahhhge. It’s a blended word, of merit and age. You’re welcome. Now, on to the wine. Beautiful dark purple, with classic cocoa and leather and cola and dark, ripe black fruit. Nice. Sipping brings a mouthful of chalky, tooth-coating tannins and a bit of heat (that alcohol peeks through on first sip for sure). Second and more sips keep up that tooth-coating tannin and introduce a touch of hard edge, hopefully something that will mellow with some decanting or a bit of time – the wine was just released in May this year, and it’s only a 2015 that had 14 months in oak. So yikes, let’s give this a bit of breathing room. Holds promise, like the finish, which keeps me wanting to go back and try it again to see what happens.
photo supplied by See Ya Later Ranch