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2018 En Famille Riesling

2018 En Famille Riesling

With its mouth-watering acidity, subtle sweetness, and moderate alcohol content, Riesling is arguably the ultimate example of balance in wine. This combination of sugar and acid also makes it extremely flexible when it comes to food. Riesling has aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruits, flowers, and spice that allows it to support a wide range of pairings. The greatest mouth-watering examples I know originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley. In fact, this Riesling is made from one of those original Becker Test Plots planted in 1978, now 40 year-old vines. Our goal each vintage is to increase the flavour intensity, so we make this wine in a Spätlese style; not sweet but just slightly off-dry enough to keep it mouth-watering and juicy. We allowed six months of fine lees contact in order to create a wine of great complexity that will be long-lived.

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/ 750mL
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Wine Specs
Okanagan Valley
8.8 g/L
Residual Sugar
17.7 g/L
Alcohol %
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
The wine exhibits a delicate nose of dried mint and mineral. On the palate, the structure is medium-bodied, with moderate alcohol and residual sugar balanced with its crisp, bright acidity. The nose carries over onto the palate where intense flavours of lemon, lime, and ginger explode in your mouth and follow through to a long, lingering, lip-smacking finish.
Vineyard Notes
Old Block St. Hubertus Vineyard, Kelowna (Becker Test Plot planted 1978)
Production Notes
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.
Winemaker Notes
The grapes were hand-harvested and a sorting table was utilized to ensure only the healthiest fruit went into the wine. After being de-stemmed, the berries were crushed and soaked overnight at cellar temperature. We monitored closely for a desired drop in acidity without acquiring any astringency. The must was dumped by gravity into the press (a more gentle method than pumping) and a slow, gentle pressing was utilized via a pneumatic press. A two-day settling allowed us to achieve maximum flavour and nutrients in our must before it was racked for ferment. Our cooling system allowed us to maintain a clean and controlled ferment that lasted two weeks in stainless steel. The wine was left sur-lie in tank for six months before bottling to add mouthfeel and freshness to the wine. Sulphur levels were kept minimal to preserve maximum bouquet and added only after post-ferment second racking and pre-bottling. Residual sugar - necessary to balance the juicy acidity and crucial for lending definition to the intensely flavoured, old-vine fruit - was maintained via a cold-stop to the fermentation, which had already naturally slowed on its own. The wine was protein and cold stabilized ten months later, then filtered using the gentlest method, crossflow. We chose a Stelvin screw-cap closure because we feel it is the best method available to preserve the freshness that is key to this wine.
Food Pairing Notes
Riesling is delightfully versatile as a wine pairing. Excellent with everything from soft cheeses to smoked fish and rich pork belly. A lovely foil for the aromatic and spicy flavors in your favorite Indian and Thai dishes.
Other Notes
100% Riesling

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