I wasn’t really sure what to think when I first saw the labels of what used to be Twisted Tree. I had followed Twisted Tree from afar when I lived in Vancouver because I’d heard that they were growing all kinds of weird and wonderful grape varieties and were taking risks at a time when it seemed like everyone was kind of playing it safe. There were Merlots and Chardonnays and Pinot Gris’ everywhere then and there still are today. But at Twisted Tree, they were trying out Tannat (in which I was particularly interested), Marsanne and Rousanne, and other grapes that really made you turn your head.
Apparently the name wasn’t right for them for some reason. I can only speculate, but I’d rather not. There must have been a reason and whatever it was, the result is Moon Curser. And of course, every good rebranding in the Okanagan these days always comes with a cute little story and there’s one here too. Its full of intrigue, smuggling and crossing borders at nightby the light of the moon. You’ll have to visit the winery to get the full story
In visits to this winery since 2007, I have enjoyed their wines more and more with each vintage. I was particular fan of their Viognier Rousanne blend a couple of years back. I enjoyed the Trio and I loved the challenge of the Tannat, which is still laying down in my cellar. The Viognier on its own stands out and no wonder they allow it to stand alone. The aromas that come off of this wine are wonderfully intriguing.
Viognier is only slightly less rare than it was when Twisted Tree originally opened. World-wide, it has filled the void left by Chardonnay in the big, rich white department for all of those ABCer’s out there and is still treated as a bit of a novelty here in BC. Although we continue to be infatuated with Pinot Gris as our go-to white wine, Viognier shows itself well when something richer is needed.
What really matters though, is what’s inside the bottle and like the Twisted Tree of the old days, this one delivers. On the nose I got a big scent of ambrosia apples and bouquet of flowers with a card on it that says, “I’m sorry I forgot our anniversary.” The palate is smooth and velvety with more of the same ripe-apple flavours. The only “Yikes!” for me on this wine is the alcohol which at 14.1% tips things a little out of balance but is now almost to be expected of some of the wineries in the extreme south Okanagan.
So there it is. Another fine example of Okanagan Viognier from a winery that has never been afraid of taking risks. Although I haven’t really been a big fan of the branding change, it’s good to see that they haven’t stopped taking risks and played it safe. It’s just more exciting that way for everyone.
Cheers from wine country!