Black Market Wine Pack 2018

Meet Black Market Wine Co.

The People + Story Behind the Wines:

Black Market Wine Co is all about breaking the rules. For years, Calgarians Rob Hammersley and Michelle Shewchuk enjoyed vacations in the Okanagan because they loved to seek out small wineries that didn’t distribute outside of BC based on their tiny size. Rob often tells the story of filling their vehicle to the brim with hard-to-find wine and pinning across the provincial border back to Alberta. To Rob and Michelle, the only way to get these very special wines was through “the black market” or by hunting them down inconspicuously. This is how the name came about. Black Market wines are made with meticulous care; they are distinct and reflective of place. Rob and Michelle craft a tiny amount of artisan wines by gathering high-quality grapes from vineyards around the Okanagan. 

In 2012 Black Market only made a hundred cases of wine. They have grown to produce just under 2000 cases every year. Michelle and Rob have studied wine through both travel and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program. Rob has also studied viticulture and enology at Washington State University. Through a mentorship with Mark Simpson at BC Wine Studio in OK Falls, they have gained hands-on experience in the vineyard and the winery. 

Black Market has forged relationships with quality-driven grape growers in Naramata and Oliver. The intent is not to create the same wine every year but to embrace natural vintage variation. By allowing the vintage to shine through, the wine tells the story of the vintage. All of the work in the winery is done by hand and meticulously cared for by Rob. He uses a mix of French and American Oak of various ages and guides the wines to develop naturally. 
Every year Black Market is showered with awards from esteemed wine competitions both nationally and internationally. Most recently, they received multiple gold medals from the Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada. Also, they are a consistent favourite with Canada’s most prolific wine writer, John Schreiner. He recently reviewed the current portfolio and awarded every single wine 90 points or above.

Conviction Ridge


2018 will be the last year that Black Market wine is made at the BC Wine Studio because in the Summer of 2018 Rob and Michelle bought a home and vineyard of their own in Kaleden called “Conviction Ridge”. Just South of Penticton and overlooking Skaha Lake, their 5-acre vineyard is planted with 35-year-old Merlot and Bacchus vines, with a newer block of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bacchus grape is a Riesling/Sylvaner cross with Müller-Thurgau. It is a cool-climate grape that ripens early with an exotic fragrance, good acidity and a peach flavour.
About the Wines

From the moment the grapes are harvested and arrive at the crush pad, Black Market delicately crafts wine in small lots, ensuring every single bottle boasts exceptional quality and flavour. 

To begin with, a mystery. 2017 Secret Society is an aromatic white wine that doesn’t divulge the grapes that make up the blend anywhere on the label. See if you can guess! 2017 Collusion is a classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that spends a bit of time in neutral oak so this wine is fruity and refreshing with great texture and depth. Next, the 2017 Semillon. One of Rob’s favourites, it was intended to be part of the blend for Collusion but stood out so beautifully that he bottled a few cases as a Semillon on its own. This Semillon became the first wine in Black Market’s “Unsanctioned Series”; exclusive wines that are made in minuscule amounts. 

Then, the 2017 Syrah: Rob has a particular love for Syrah and believes that it will continue to be an important grape in the Okanagan Valley. The profile of this wine is reminiscent of Black Forest cake. The 2015 Syndicate is the flagship wine of Black Market and just like a syndicate of people, the individual varietals work together to elevate the depth and complexity of this balanced Bordeaux style red. Finally, the 2016 Unsanctioned Series Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the standout barrel in Rob’s cellar and only 25 cases were made. 

All of these wines are made for your enjoyment with care and with respect for the grape. Cheers!


Selected Wines for Black Market Wine Co.

2017 Secret Society | Black Market Wine Co. | $22.00

Tasting Notes | Chilled pineapple, lychee and orange blossom on the nose of this mysterious and crisp white blend. Lively acidity, a dry palate and a good dose of minerality complement palate notes of apple, honeysuckle, melon and light baking spice.
Pairing | Spicy Chicken Karaage.
Drinking Recommendations | Chill and enjoy. Repeat.
Why We Chose It | This is a secret and aromatic blend of three grape varietals from three different areas in the Okanagan: Oliver, Naramata and Osoyoos. See if you can guess what is in your glass!
Cases Produced | 200

Alc. 12.5% | TA 5.6 | RS 8.5 | 

2017 Collusion | Black Market Wine Co. | $24.00

Tasting Notes | Soft aromas of gooseberry, citrus and green grass. This dry white blend has a round mouthfeel with a bit of weight and flavours of white grapefruit, vanilla and wet stones.
Pairing | Prawn, arugula and goat cheese flatbread.
Drinking Recommendations | Chill and enjoy.
Why We Chose It | Collusion is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that was carefully harvested to maintain a bright acidity. This wine comes into contact with a small amount of neutral oak. This enhances the texture and weight of the wine.
Cases Produced | 100

Alc. 12.4% | TA 7.1 | RS 7.8 | 

2017 Unsanctioned Series Semillon | Black Market Wine Co. | $26.00

Tasting Notes |Delicate lemon custard, lightly bruised apple, pear and wet stones. Bone dry with a refreshing minerality, balanced acidity and flavours of brioche, peach skin and lemon zest with a long finish.
Pairing | Halibut cheeks with lemon and fennel.
Drinking Recommendations | Chill and enjoy or cellar for 4-6 years.
Why We Chose It | The Unsanctioned Series is reserved for very special and limited wines. This is a medium bodied, dry white wine that spends time in neutral French oak with gentle lees stirring. Semillon is one of the rare white grapes that ages beautifully in the bottle. Stock up on this one and try forgetting about a bottle for a few years. It’ll be worth it.
Cases Produced | 100

Alc. 11.6% | TA 6.1 | RS 3.9 |

2016 Syrah | Daydreamer Wines | $30.00

Tasting Notes | Poached cherry, white pepper, lavender, mocha and earthy moss. This is an elegant yet structured Syrah with balanced tannins and mouthwatering acidity. The palate is bursting with flavours of juicy black fruit, dried tobacco, shaved dark chocolate, smoked bacon and deep, dark forest floor.
Pairing | Risotto with morel mushrooms and parmigiano-reggiano.
Drinking Recommendations | Decant for 30 mins and enjoy hour or cellar with confidence for 5-7 years.
Why We Chose It | Winemaker Rob has a particular love for Syrah and believes that it will continue to be a star in the Okanagan Valley. The profile of this wine is slightly reminiscent of Black Forest cake so dig in and enjoy.
Cases Produced | 100

Alc. 13.8% | TA 6.6 | RS 2.6 | 

2015 The Syndicate | Black Market Wine Co. | $30.00

Tasting Notes | Pomegranate, plum, currant, and violet layered with subtle cedar notes. The wine is concentrated, with well-integrated tannins and acidity that linger into a long finish. The palate shows notes of cassis and black cherry flavours with fig and spice.
Pairing | Caramelized French onion soup with aged gruyere.
Drinking Recommendations | Decant for 30 mins and enjoy hour or cellar with confidence for 5-7 years.
Why We Chose It | This blend is 31% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Petit Verdot. The Syndicate is the flagship wine of Black Market and just like a syndicate of people, the individual varietals work together to elevate the depth and complexity of the finished wine.
Cases Produced | 215

Alc. 14.4% | TA 6.3 | RS 3.4 |