Church & State Wines
Church & State Winery was founded in 2003 and is located in the Okanagan Valley near Oliver, B.C. Church & State farms 100 acres of pristine South Okanagan vineyards to produce only 10,000 cases annually. The winery has two tasting and production buildings on different sites. On this day we visited the ‘Coyote Bowl’ for some tasting and of course to make some purchases for our collection. The tasting room is very impressive with a long large marble bar with comfy bar stools facing into the barrel room. There is ample opportunity to converse with the Sommeliers during a visit. This was the first time we had visited Church & State.

When we arrived at the winery we ran into a friend who was just leaving. Our friend is a Sommelier at Hy’s in Whistler. After a hello and chit chat he was on his way, but before leaving he told his thoughts on Quintessential which were all positive. Quintessential is a Bordeaux Blend made up of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes.The grapes were harvested in October of 2007 and aged in French barrels, 20% of which were new. There were only 547 cases of it produced. We’ve been drinking a few more Bordeaux wines lately and have really started to appreciate them more, Quintessential was no exception.

Church & State 2007 Quintessential
The 2006 Quintessential won best Red at the 2009 Canadian Wine Championships. With that hype we hoped the 2007 would live up to the same reputation. It did. What an excellent blend! While dark in colour, there were bright tinges of red in the glass and the smell was light but full of many flavours although none were really over powering. The first taste was packed with flavour mostly refreshing type fruits with an undertone of dark fruit going down. There was a little spicy kick at the end. At first we thought the spice was a bit much but after some more swirling it became less powerful and the finish became excellent. Our thought if you are going to taste the 2007 (and you should if you can), take the time to decant the wine.

The 2007 is not available any longer, but a 2008 was available on the Church & State website. It is more expensive than most of our home wine tastings at $50 per bottle, but for a treat once in a while it is worth the investment. If you like Church & State wines you can read a previous review we wrote about their 2010 Gewürztraminer here.