Appellation America(2005 Vintage) Le Vieux Pin is a 3,500-case super-premium winery launched by Sean Salem, a Vancouver developer, Gregory Thomas, a Vancouver investment executive, and Anthony Burée, a Vancouver wine consultant and now the winery’s manager. The trio are setting to make intensely flavoured wines reflecting the terroir of their various south Okanagan vineyards. Le Vieux Pin - named for a single old pine tree at the Oliver winery - also will anchor a proposed resort. During his previous career with the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, Burée became disenchanted with some of the timid Merlot wines emerging from the Okanagan. The wines seldom showed the power and richness of the wines being produced in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington, a two-hour drive from the Okanagan but with comparable soil and climate conditions. The Walla Walla Valley Merlots have become Le Vieux Pin’s benchmark. The grapes for Époque are from an organic Golden Mile vineyard, with a crop load of only 2 ¾ tons an acre. The result is a wine more muscular than most Okanagan Merlots. It is dark, almost black, in colour, with gobs of black cherries, plums and chocolate boldly framed by primarily French oak. The texture is firm and concentrated, with ripe tannins. The wine should develop well with another five years of cellaring. Only 100 cases have been made. 89 points.