Co-op Wines: The Social Collection, Bin 107

14 02 2018

By Dan Steeves

[This bottle was provided as a sample for review purposes.]

As a follow up to Peter’s review of the first Co-op Social Collection bottle, the Bin 101 Cabernet Sauvignon, we now move onto the second bottle of our trio, Bin 107 Pinot Blanc, which hits a little closer to home.  This bottle’s front label clearly shows it is a product of Canada, and upon examining the back label, you notice further clues as to the wine’s origin. Underneath the grape variety is written “Golden Mile – Oliver, BC Canada”, and further down it shows that the wine was exclusively produced and bottled by Castoro de Oro Estate Winery in Oliver BC.

The region south of the town of Oliver and north of the town of Osoyoos is commonly referred to as the Golden Mile due to the amount of wineries off the highway between the two towns. However, stating “Golden Mile” on a label does not have an official meaning — this term shouldn’t be confused with the very-similar label designation “Golden Mile Bench”, which an area up off the valley floor that shows unique climate and soil types and which is now recognized as an official sub-Geographical Indication within the Okanagan Valley GI. That said, all wines made in this part of the Okanagan are well known for their high quality due to the ideal climate:  hot daytime temperatures, cool nights, and limited rainfall (it is for all intents and purposes a desert).



Golden Mile – but not the Bench

Castoro de Oro Estate Winery is a small family-run winery located just off Highway 97 south of Oliver, BC. The current owners took over the property in 2006 and rebranded it with a new name, Golden Beaver Winery, which later transformed into Castoro de Oro (the Latin translation for Golden Beaver, and a definite improvement in my opinion!). Despite its small size, the winery has recently received some big attention, including winning a BC Lieutenant Governor Award for the 2014 Crimson Rhapsody blend and being licensed as the official winery representing the Canada Sesquicentenial/Canada 150.  Castoro de Oro has produced THREE different wines for Co-op under The Social Collection label:  Bins 107, 108, and 109.

The Social Collection, Bin 107:  2015 Pinot Blanc (~$15)

Pinot Blanc is generally not seen as one of the most interesting varietals, with typically modest intensity of flavours, body and acidity, giving rise to the common perjorative nickname of “Pinot Blah”.  Certain parts of the world do it well, mostly northern Italy and Alsace, France, but the Okanagan Valley is known to produce some great examples as well.  The Bin 107 Pinot Blanc sits in the glass with a clear pale lemon colour and a rather faint nose initially of honey, nectarine, asparagus, and grass. The green notes dissipate somewhat as the wine warms and opens, with more fruit by way of gala apple and dried apricot coming through. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium acidity that has an odd tang to it and imparts a slightly bitter aftertaste. There are flavours of beeswax, tangerine, orange soda, grapefruit pith, metal can, and a herbaceous note. The wine is unfortunately slightly off-balance and lacks the excitement that would make it memorable, but its enjoyable fruit flavours will appeal to many at your next social gathering, and the price tag will appeal to all.

85 points

$15 to $20 CDN


Cork Rating: 0/10 (Way too akin to a home wine kit cork…).



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