2019 Culmina Malbec, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley VQA (Alcohol 14%, Residual Sugar, I’m guessing around 6 g/l) Winery Website $42 (750ml bottle)

I think it would be fair to say that I have an adoration, perhaps bordering upon fetishization, for floral aromatics in red wines, and in particular those on the violet side of the spectrum. From the oh-so delicately perfumed Burgundian beauties to the positively pungent (not to mention polarizing) Lacrima di Morro d’Albas, I’m simply a slave to such olfactory delights.

When it comes to tasting Malbecs, I continually gravitate to those wines exhibiting the aforementioned elusive violet notes, and so I was utterly delighted to find such an aromatic profile in this release from BC’s Culmina.

Sourced from the Arise Bench vineyard positioned along the Golden Mile Bench, this extremely polished bottling sees 16 months French barrel ageing, with 25% new and the rest being 1, 2 years or older. This definitely gives the wine a distinct hit of warm spicy oak, but the ripe fruit can more than handle this.

The fruit is decidedly aligned along the dark cherry axis, with all of those gorgeous floral nuances giving the bouquet a wonderful perfumed elegance. The palate, whilst well-structured, is supple and approachable, with enjoyably rounded tannins and a deep, dark fruit core c. The finish is long and savoury, with a touch of graphite on the tail end.

Many years back I remember thinking that I’d never find a Canadian Malbec anywhere near as good as Stratus’ varietal bottling, but with this 2019 I believe that Culmina undoubtedly give that particular wine a run for its money.

I greatly enjoyed a glass of this all by itself, before dinner, but this really came into its own when tasted alongside a seared elk steak with herbed garlic mushrooms.