Master of Champagne Awards 2016 ‘The One’
Katherine McEachnie is a Master in Champagne, a French Wine Scholar, a Certified Specialist of Wine, a Viticulture technician, and a Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma graduate. She owns Winston Estate Vineyard on the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan, British Columbia, which was voted the best wine region in the world in 2019. For the last ten years, she has served as a champagne specialist judge with the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, UK. She also judges wine for the Okanagan Wine Festival “Best of Varietal” Competition. She is a wine consultant, wine educator, wine writer, and proud ambassador for BC wine.
Appearance: Clear and bright. Medium straw colour with gold flecks. Fine pin-point bubbles protruding up from bottom of glass forming a thin edge of mousse foam around the rim.
Nose: Like in true French champagne fashion, intense mineral aromas are the first to enter my olfactory receptors. Fresh baked bread, yeast autolysis and cultured cream follow. Scents of citrus brioche, yellow apple and vanilla cream come through in the end.
Palate: Tiny fine pin-point bubbles are persistent with limestone minerals, puffed pastry and layers of buttered pie crust being the first to entice my taste buds. Honey suckle and vanilla cream flavours are beautifully balanced with a lively citrus acidity. Notes of yellow apple, toasted almond and lemon zest excite the mid palate. Creamy caramel and pear brioche intertwine with the fine textured mousse all the way through the finish leaving a lasting impression on my back palate. Long lingering length persists for minutes.
Summary: This sparkling wine is exceptional. It is hitting all the quality markers as I look beyond the persistence of the fine pin-point bubbles there is depth of flavour across my palate, racy texture, breadth and richness and it continues to refresh and perfume my back palate with a long lingering finish. The aromas and flavours are extraordinarily balanced with lively focused acidity and the fine textured mousse offers the finesse that reflects the highest quality chardonnay and pinot noir wines used in the “vin de clair” base wine. The winemaker Benoit Gauthier has reached the pinnacle of perfection with this outstanding traditional method sparkling wine. It is flawless!