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On my last visit to the Quinta Ferreira winery, on the south Okanagan's coveted Black Sage Bench, crews were digging underground caves and unearthed a 15-centimetre layer of volcanic ash (1.5 to two metres below the surface) that was traced back to an eruption from Oregon's Crater Lake some 7,700 years ago. Volcanic ash in the vineyard adds minerality and vigour to the wine. Michael Ferreira's flagship Bordeaux blend captures that vigour, showing a real depth of fruit, with velvety tannins. While still young, it crackles with sensory pleasure on the palate and shows fine aging potential. Only 820 cases were made, so get familiar with a bottle now and lay some down for six months to five years. Can be enjoyed on its own, or used to create a good stage for grilled beef or lamb steaks. Available at VQA Stores or online at

Kasey Wilson is food editor of Wine Access magazine and editor of Best Places Vancouver.

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