Its core of lemon oil and hazelnut skin is accented by juicy acidity and is further augmented by smoky coffee bean and bacon flavours -savoury elements of its Burgundian cooperage. Fruit from these vineyards are rich in ripe pineapple and creamy Meyer lemon flavours but always retain their fresh, racy edge.
Con Vida Vineyard, Skaha Bluff
2018 was a far more “normal” growing season for the Okanagan Valley after the string of early, hot vintages from 2013-2016. The winter was extremely snowy and early spring was wet, supplying the vineyards with a good soaking and filling up the water table. A warm April had bud break occurring in the last days of April and first week of May for most varieties. Mid-May was hot and dry with flowering occurring in early June. The beginning of June was wet, followed by some heat which produced a full vineyard canopy by mid-June. This resulted in our vineyard crew earnestly working to keep up with canopy growth, suckering and shoot positioning, which all happened at the same time. Early July was a bit wet, coupled with alarming heat following from mid-July on. We left all shoots to create a heavier crop to retard the potential for early sugar ripeness (as we had had success with in the past hot and early vintages). Once the fruit set, we left more than usual to ripen. Intense lightening storms occurred in mid-July and started forest fires around the province. Smoky skies continued through July and all of August before returning
to drastically cooler temperatures in early September. Veraison occurred in the first week of August and ripening was gradual throughout the rest of the summer. The thick smoke provided a UV blanket over the valley, slowing the ripening that threatened to speed ahead in July. On September 22nd, with ripeness slowing down, our first pick was for our bubble and un-oaked Chardonnay. The cool, wet weather proceeded right though September into early October. We had great hang time for phenolic development with the rest of our varieties mainly coming in
mid-October. All of our tonnage was completely picked by October 22nd and vinified by mid-November. Despite an intensely hot summer, we saw low pH and lower brix than previous vintages demonstrating that 2018 will express a cooler vintage profile. Overall, expect more freshness, minerality, and fantastic natural balance.
Grapes were meticulously picked and hand sorted before being de-stemmed and crushed. The grapes soaked for one hour then slowly and gently pressed. The resulting must was hyper-oxidized (without a sulphur addition at the press pan) to stabilize colour and flavours. After a 24-hour settling, the juice was racked into French Allier and Vosges puncheons for fermentation. For this wine we used exclusively Burgundian coopers, Billion and Damy. 30% were new barrels, 15% were second fill, with neutral barrels making up the remaining balance (55%). These barrels underwent an ambient fermentation for a clean expression of site and vintage. All underwent a spontaneous secondary malolactic fermentation, giving the wine a softer texture. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, added only after malolactic fermentation was finished and before bottling. The wine was aged in oak for ten months and lees stirred regularly to encourage mouthfeel, complexity, and freshness. The first racking off of gross less occurred in June 2019 and then again in July before bottling. The wine was cold stabilized then filtered with crossflow filtration, which is incredibly gentle and helps to focus the layers of the wine. We chose a high quality, natural cork closure because we feel the gradual exchange of oxygen that natural cork allows will enable this wine to improve for five to seven years and hold for at least ten. The 2018 Reserve Chardonnay was bottle-aged 24 months before its release.
Food Pairing Notes
Enjoy this wine with umami-driven foods like miso-rubbed corn or chanterelle mushrooms.
Chardonnay Musqué 100%