From the Cellar

Mission Hill 2010 Oculus & Quatrain (British Columbia)

07 Jan 2022

Oculus 2010


(February 12, 2021) ... Mission Hill 2010 Oculus - Reading the back label and we have here a blend of 51% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Cabernet Franc ... I read somewhere that this wine was over the hill, so I grabbed out my bottle and popped the cork. Wow, were they wrong, this is far from it over the hill - but I'm glad I did catch it in a "very alive" phase of its existence.  First, I had to vigorously pour it into a Bordeaux glass, because this wine needed air, badly. The nose was cassis, some cedar and notes of dried blackberry - plus blueberry skin, cedar, and a good bite from the tannins on the palate ... There was also a long finish ... It needs to open and while it is doing that I opened up the second wine - because I got a little worried it too would be cresting the hill. But let's finish this review first.  There's good acidity holding this one together and as it opens there's a smoky-tobacco note with some vanilla-cedar and spice ... This is getting interesting and even exciting as it opens - then as the time passes further there's some fun notes of burnt coffee bean and cigar box ... I played with with wine for a good three hours and was impressed with every sip.

Quatrain 2010Mission Hill 2010 Quatrain - this is a different blend, while the above is traditionally Bordeaux, this one adds Syrah into the mix and is Merlot dominant: 40% Merlot / 20% each: Syrah - Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc. The nose comes off as leathery and smoky right form the start. Then there is some bitter coffee bean on the palate with oaky and cedary notes. The finish is dusty and oaky. As if opens further it develops some dried blackberry and cassis on the mid-palate; there's a sort-of smoothness on that mid-palate, but the finish is smoky and oaky and that never seems to let up ... this wine seems to be liquified wood by the end of my time with it and it's on the downside of its life span.

So the wine I thought was going to be dead was actually quite alive and interesting - the one I was not sure about, but was "scared" for, was indeed dying a slow death in my glass. Good luck if you have either of these wines ... one will impress the other won't.


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