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Column: TIME family of wines enters exciting new era

Six Chronos wines are introduced this year
Time Wine photo
Introducing the 2020 Evolve Spontaneity, Chronos Rosé, and McWatters Collection White Hermitage.

Time hasn’t stood still for the TIME Family of Wines that Harry McWatters founded in Penticton. After Harry’s sudden death in 2019, there have been changes to the ownership, to the winery in downtown Penticton, and to the wines.

Christa-Lee McWatters sold the winery to Ron and Shelley Mayert while maintaining continuity with her role as General Manager. The Mayerts who have a solid background in B.C. agriculture are thrilled to enter the wine industry and to grow from the legacy that the McWatters family has created.

A new restaurant, Orolo, is replacing the TIME Kitchen, intimate meeting rooms are being built, and a new rooftop patio will follow next year. The TIME team has also announced a satellite experience centre at the new District Wine Village in Oliver in the heart of the South Okanagan wine country later this fall.

A new brand of wine that emphasizes Okanagan terroir, Chronos debuted recently. There are six different 2020 Chronos wines that display depth and complexity: Riesling, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ouroboros, and Rosé.

The 2020 wines are the first crafted by winemaker Lynzee Schatz who joined the TIME family in 2019. Schatz’s focus has been to elevate the character of each brand.

The 2020 Chronos Rosé ($24.99; “90 points”) is made from 100-per-cent Syrah. It was split into two batches and fermented separately with different varietally enhancing yeast strains, and finally blended together.

The Rosé displays an eye-catching dark salmon-pink colour and possesses a generous red fruit bouquet. If you like a rosé with lots of delicious character, this is it: strawberry with white pepper, watermelon, cranberry, and a splash of orange peel. Along with a pleasant mouth feel thanks to the delicate tannins and plenty of crispness, there’s a long fruity and dry finish. It’s perfect with a juicy watermelon, tomato, cucumber, olive and feta cheese salad!

The Evolve Cellars brand received new design elements and colours. And its portfolio has two new wines, the Evolve 2020 Spontaneity, a white blend and the Evolve 2018 Momento, a red blend.

I recently sampled the Evolve 2020 Spontaneity ($21.99; “87 points”), a light fruity blend of 50-per-cent Pinot Gris, 30-per-cent Sauvignon Blanc, and 20-per-cent Ortega. The aroma is floral and fruity while there’s a tasty selection of ripe pear, peach, grapefruit, and guava to delight your taste buds. And this medium-light white enjoys refreshing acidity and ends with an off-dry finish. 

Consider enjoying the Spontaneity when the autumn sun spontaneously shines. And make a bruschetta with your homegrown tomatoes atop a toasted slice of bread smeared with crushed garlic to pair with Evolve’s brand new wine.

The McWatters Collection remains the legacy brand with a limited series of wines that reflect the philosophy of their namesake, the late Harry McWatters. They are premium wines that bear a new stately appearance.

Besides the original Red Meritage, the new member of the elite brand is the 2020 McWatters Collection White Meritage ($29.99; “92 points”). A blend of 55-per-cent Sauvignon Blanc and 45-per-cent Sémillon, it was fermented in stainless steel and the lees were stirred over three weeks to add texture and complexity to the finished wine.

The McWatters Collection 2020 White Meritage is the best I’ve tasted. With a light straw colour, it reveals a generous floral bouquet of citrus, stone and tropical fruit.

On the palate, this medium-bodied dry white has layers of flavours to savour: lemon balm, grapefruit, apricot, guava, and mango! The crisp acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc balances this abundant flavour. And thanks to aging on its lees and the Sémillon component, there’s an enjoyable mouthfeel. An elegant and complex white with a lengthy and delicious finish.

Enjoy the wine with any white food: oysters, halibut, sushi, veal, pork, chicken, or a white cheese such as French Brie, Morbière, Swiss Raclette, or German Cambazola.

The Chronos Rosé, Evolve Spontaneity, and McWatters White Meritage are available at the Ironwood VQA in Ironwood, Richmond. For tasting reservations and ordering wines, visit Time Winery's website.