Black Hills winemaker Graham Pierce promised that 2014 provided yet another outstanding vintage of Nota Bene and since the September 1st release, its devoted following has agreed.


Nota Bene’s tantalizing signature of raspberries, plum and fruit leather is complemented by dusty, mushroom and earthy components. Rich, velvety smooth tannins coat the palate resulting in a well-balanced, elegant and delicate lingering finish of raspberries and spice.
The vintage is medium-full bodied, with well integrated tannins and lengthy weight.
While Pierce played an important part in the process, Nota Bene’s consistency and fluctuations are also a reflection of the environment, something participants in a special fall event will learn a great deal about.
Since 1999, every grape for Nota Bene has come from the same vineyard. Winemakers have used the same aging regime and the same oak barrels. Mother Nature is the only variable.
“It’s cool to see how a cooler vintage or warmer vintage affects the structure and depth of the wine,” said Black Hills President Glenn Fawcett.
While Fawcett is well versed in both the subtle and dramatic differences between bottles, a unique event is being held October 1st, that will allow for more to glean a greater understanding of the wine.
“We are conducting a rare, guided tasting of each single vintage of Nota Bene from 1999 to 2014,” said Fawcett, adding that there will also be a barrel tasting from the yet-bottled 2015 vintage.
The event is in its ninth year, and Fawcett said that other than the challenge of providing 45 people with enough stemware to taste 17 vintages, it’s a tremendously rewarding experience for him.
Each year he walks away with a better understanding that time and tastes play a significant role on perceptions, as a different vintage is deemed the new favourite at each tasting.
Guests are also a fan of the annual tasting, and how it enhances their knowledge about wine.  “It allows guests an opportunity to see how the wine has evolved as it aged,” he said. “Each ages in its own way.”
Prior to the tasting, visitors are treated to a walking tour of the vineyard that builds appreciation for where the grapes of the winery’s single-vineyard wine came from. There’s also a “behind the scenes” visit to the winery, which takes place in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Fall crush.
The event takes place Saturday, October 1st at Black Hills Estate Winery. Tickets can be purchased at the Wine Experience Centre or by calling the winery 250-498-0666.

(pictured: Wine Evangelist Rebecca preaching the good word to visiting wine enthusiast Hannah.)
~ Kathy Michaels