Black Cloud Altostratus
Black Cloud Altostratus
Region: Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, Canada
Varietals: Pinot Noir
We have been in contact with the winemaker from Black Cloud Bradley Cooper for a long time. We were impressed with his wine making skills from his efforts at Township 7, so naturally when we heard he had a label of his own, we were excited about giving this wine a try. Needless to say when we heard that Mr. Cooper and his wife Audralee were going to be touring through Alberta and supplying samples, Reading for New Times wanted to be first in line.
The story of Black Cloud is rather interesting, as the first vintage of Black Cloud was actually a wine Mr. Cooper had made for a client who couldn’t afford to pay him for his services. When the client dropped off 80 cases of the wine as payment for his services, Mr. Coopers wife Audralee stated that the situation was like a ‘Black Cloud’ hanging over their heads. Sensing an opportunity, the duo decided to buy back the remaining inventory of the wine and brand it themselves. With that, Black Cloud was born.
Being a young Pinot Noir, we chilled it down to about 17 degrees Celsius before pouring and did not decant it. In the glass, the wine exhibits a wonderful, vibrant purple hue that displays its youth well with its light to medium body. On the nose, notes of ripe and sour cherries, raspberry and plum are the primary fruit components. There are also notes of cinnamon and cedar which add nice depth to the aroma. Initially, the nose on this wine is less Pinot Noir and more indicative of Merlot, but this will undoubtedly change with time. On the palate, the attack is dark and elegant, with chaulky, tart cherry and black plum leading with a precise transition to a high acid, green herbal-ness over the mid-palate. The finish goes dry but is lengthy and mouthwatering. The balance and tannins on this wine are deftly executed and it is easy to see the high level of quality it exhibits. It has fleeting moments of angularity but I see these disappearing with some additional bottle aging.
Our verdict: This is a tremendous Pinot Noir from BC that over delivers in a massive fashion, despite its obvious youth. If and when, and we sincerely hope it does make it to the Alberta market, we’d recommend buying at least three of these bottles and sampling them over the next 3 to 5 years to get a true sense of the character of this wine. It has all the right tools to be special, and if you give it the time it needs, we doubt you’ll be disappointed.
- Black Cloud Altostratus
- by Adrian Bryksa
- Published on October 7th, 2010
- 91 Points
More from Adrian Bryksa:
David Walker Wines launches Mission Hill’s Perpetua and Quatrain
When you are a wine freak like me, getting sent invites to wine launch parties brings a combination of nerves, excitement and anticipation.
Airlie Maréchal Foch
The varietal is an interesting one as it is a hybrid grape that may produce wines of tremendous breadth from light, Beaujolais stylized examples to rich, full bodied wines.
FAT Wreck Chords tour featuring NOFX
Easily the highlight of the set was the tour de force rendition of "The Decline", which is one of the best punk songs ever recorded in this writers opinion. The rest of the set was sonically outstanding, until one jackass from the crowd fired a full water bottle at the lead singer..
Wine by the glass at Vin Room
Vin Room, a wine bar and bistro has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. Their expansive offerings of wine by the glass and that everyone has either went or wants to go is making this a hip spot.
Annie’s Lane Riesling
I love the versatility that Riesling offers from its potential presentation as a sticky sweet late harvest or as mouth-puckering dry example and all of the spots that it can occupy in between.
Rosemount Estate Show Reserve Shiraz
For this months review, I thought it was time to visit my cellar again. When I buy wine to cellar, I usually purchase it with an event in mind. It is a on the rare occasion that pull something out of the cellar to drink on my own and that’s what happened here.
Other recent features:
Sónar 2010 – Barcelona, Spain
The festival attracts a lot of outsiders, but the Mediterranean, Spanish and more specifically Catalan nature of the people makes the festival what it is. Catalan people are passionate and this passion is infectious. The atmosphere is electric in Barcelona as a city and heightened by music and intoxicants at Sónar.
Summer Party Naval Styles at Seven RestoLounge
Oysters, like wine are affected by terroir and these Miyagi’s flavor profiles ranged with one showing a cleaner, almost tropical profile and the other being more salty, marine driven. As I was devouring the seemingly endless plates put in front of us, I sipped on a glass of fine sauvignon blanc.
R4NT Radio March 2010
R4NT Radio March 2010 um wow it’s been far too long since the last edition edition, featuring: Hector Hernandez, The Infesticons, Blockhead, Gramatik, Emika, Thunderheist, Parov Stelar, Eddy Meets Yannah, Anti-Pop Consortium, The Slew, Lighterthief, Andreya Triana, Parasyte Woman, Mathon, Venetian Snares, and Funki Porcini.
O Restaurant & Lounge revisited
Calgary has a diverse set of urban communities, most of which have the ubiquitous strip mall watering hole. In the South West community of Marda Loop, a reinvention of this paradigm has been established.
Predictions 2010.. and beyond!
So 2010 eh? Almost but not quite (no year zero they say) another decade? It seems like just yesterday that the world was waiting for Y2K. R4NT started publishing in March 2001, so we’re not quite 10 years old yet, but in internet years we are already a senior citizen.
No matter what, the reality of Nelson Mandela is something that deserves screen time. Should this film even remotely intrigue the masses to take interest in this figure, the world would likely benefit greatly from it.