Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Mission Hill Family Estate Oculustext

Mission Hill Family Estate Oculus 2019

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOculus is evolving, and the latest version is one of the best. The model is Bordeaux but makes no mistake, chief winemaker Corrie Krehbil is making an Okanagan red blend, albeit with a nod to Bordeaux. It was a beautiful spring and summer in 2019 with a wet fall, but the early rains were little more than a nuisance for the late-ripening grapes. Organically grown, the fruit ripens earlier, and the alcohol is lower, a big plus in years that end dramatically, like 2019 with a heavy frost. Kriebel ups the quantity of merlot in cooler years, hence the 52 percent, and adds a surprising 30 percent cabernet franc which speaks to the maturity of the many Mission Hill sites and the evolution of this variety as it asserts its quality and structure. The merlot has been improved by working the extraction early on, building density without the tannins. Add to that higher acidity which highlights the fruit’s purity. As mentioned, this wine is a clear notch above the earlier version of the flagship label. Words like fragrant and vibrant describe the pure fruit that mark the latest bottling, certified organic since 2021. The fruit is red/black, again emphasizing the freshness and lightness of what can be a big muscular red. Currants and blackberries with a hint of blue fruits mix effortlessly with a savoury desert scrub undercurrent, adding the all-important dash of umami to the mix. Stylish enough to drink now, but it is designed to go the distance for a decade or two in the bottle. One of the best so far. Only 99 barrels were made. 2019 Oculus offered a one time pre-release for club members during Oculus weekend last October. The official release will be available to the public in June 2023.Tasted: 29 November 2022Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices:
BC$185.00750mlwinery direct
Producer: Mission Hill Family EstateDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Blend: Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet FrancCSPC: 31289UPC: 776545981691