This powerful Pinot Noir is intensely perfumed with violets and almost incense-like jasmine, cedar, and cocoa aromas. It has a bright core of ripe strawberry fruit that is balanced by white pepper, dark chocolate, coffee and smoky bacon flavours.
2018 was a far more “normal” growing season for the Okanagan Valley after the string of early, hot vintages since 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. April was warm with bud break occurring in the last days and first week of May for most varietals. Mid-May was hot and dry with flowering occurring in early June. Early June was wet but followed by some heat which produced a full vineyard canopy by mid-month, keeping our vineyard crew running to keep up with canopy growth, suckering and shoot positioning - all of which happened at the same time. Early July was a bit wet but alarming heat followed from mid-month on; we left all shoots to create a heavier crop and minimize the potential for early sugar ripeness (we have had suc- cess with this technique in past hot, early vintages). Once the fruit set, we left more than usual to ripen. Intense lightning 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, as the thick smoke provided a UV blanket over the valley, slowing the ripening that threatened to speed ahead in July. Our first pick was on Sept 2nd for our bubbles and Un-oaked Chardonnay. The cool, wet weather proceeded right through September and early October, slowing ripeness right down. As a result, we had great hang-time for phenolic development and the rest of our varietals came into the winery mid-October, with all of our tonnage completely picked by October 22nd and vinified by mid-November. We saw low pH and lower brix than previous vintages, suggesting 2018 will express a cooler vintage profile. Overall, expect more freshness, minerality, and fantastic natural balance.
The grapes were hand-picked and a sorting table was utilized to select only the best fruit. A portion of the fruit was selected to be crushed and de-stemmed and then fermented in open top fermenters. Our red fermentation technique revolves around small lots which allows for complexity with yeast strain selection, temperature control, gentle handing of fruit, and ease of punch downs. This style of red fermentation allows us to preserve fresh fruit character. After fermentation and a weeklong post-maceration, the wines were gently pressed off the skins, settled for 24 hours, and then aged for 10 months in barrel on fine lees. This wine combines Allier and Vosges oak from two Burgundian coopers: Billion and Damy, with 40% new barrel, 60% neutral oak. We chose a medium toast for the barrels which allows the wine to express a savoury flavour component of coffee and smoky bacon as a counterpoint to the sweet fruit. The wine was then cross-flow filtered. 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 Pinot Noir was aged more than 24 months in bottle before release.
Food Pairing Notes
This wine would pair beautifully with duck, game meats and sophisticated mushroom dishes.