Fairview Cellars owner Bill Eggert has had a revelation concerning his wines lately; they are proving to be extremely long-lived. Compared to wines from other regions, BC’s young industry has not been around long enough to prove their wines’ longevity.  

Recent winemaker’s dinners at 6 Degree Bistro at Big White and at Tapenade in Steveston confirmed to Eggert that his wines do great things. One event featured the 2003 Merlot Cabernet, which in subsequent vintages became the Mad Cap. Even at a decade, this wine was still bursting with the bright fruit flavours usually found in wines half its age.

What does Eggert do to get his wines to age so well? “Less,” he replies. “I don’t push the tannins but I don’t hide them either.

I don’t do all of the things that winemakers normally do to make their wines ready to drink sooner.” The red wines are vinified with limited cold soaks or extended macerations. Fermentations are simple and usually take about two weeks.

And where might one find the ‘03 Merlot Cabernet today? “It’s only available in your friend’s cellar,” says Eggert with a grin. Of course, future winemakers dinners featuring Fairview Cellars are also a possibility.

2003 Merlot Cabernet
Plums, blackberries, fine herbs, and violets on the nose with a full palate of plums, blackberries, and hints of roasted coffee. Tannins and acidity are softer but still assertive.   

~ Luke Whittall