This aromatic wine exhibits an intense nose of guava, nutmeg, and clove. This spiciness continues on to the palate and opens up with unctuous flavours of lychee, coriander and guava carrying through to a grapefruit-fresh finish. Overall, the flavours and texture of this wine are focused and intense.
Paxon Family Vineyard (Naramata Bench), JoieFarm Vineyard (Naramata Bench), Busterfish Vineyard (Naramata Bench), Con Vida Vineyard (Skaha Bluff), Hagerman Vineyard (Kaleden), Moyen Vineyard (Summerland), Furlot Family Vineyard (Summerland), St. Hubertus Family Vineyard (Mission Kelowna), Pipars Family Vineyard (Naramata Bench)
Winter 2019/20 mirrored the previous year’s freeze-thaw pattern and the erratic weather continued to cause bud and cane damage to the Okanagan Valley’s vineyards. Spring was sunny and dry with a distinct lack of rainfall in April and May. In contrast, June was rainy and windy, particularly during the flowering of the vines, causing hard “shot berries,” poor fruit set, and loose clusters. Fortunately, July and August were hot and sunny with fewer temperature spikes which caused less stress on the vines as the berries sized up. Veraison began in the central Okanagan Valley and the Naramata Bench the second week of August. It was long, lasting almost 3-4 weeks in some places, having been prolonged by the smoke blanket in late August from the Skaha Bluff fire and the slow ripening of the secondary buds. The weather stayed hot until the second week in September then cooled to a more moderate temperature. We began harvesting the third week of September, beginning with our new vineyard site in Oliver with our first crop of Sauvignon Blanc. We then commenced with the first picks of Chardonnay from the Con Vida Vineyard on the Skaha Bluff and our Auxerrois on the Naramata Bench. The weather remained pleasant until mid-October, providing a prolonged, dry hang-time that developed the grape’s mature and complex flavours. Throughout this period, we consistently brought in grapes every day until an abrupt snowfall and cold spell ended the harvest on October 21. We brought in all 150 tons successfully before this rude weather event. We are very pleased with the 2020 wines considering the logistical and labour challenges. The sugars were ripe, but not ridiculous, and the lower yields contributed to the concentration, aromatics, ripe tannins, and phenolics of the wines.
The grapes were hand-harvested and sorted before de-stemming to ensure that only healthy grapes went into the wine. After de-stemming, many of the aromatic varieties were crushed and left to soak for several hours. The soaks were gravity fed with our bin dumper into the press (much gentler than pumping the must) and a slow, gentle pressing followed via a pneumatic press. The already flavourful juice was then gently racked from its settling tank to ferment. The must was inoculated with an aromatic-forward cultured yeast strain, X-5, to highlight the floral and spicy charm of this Gewürztraminer blend and H-RST on our Riesling ferments. Fermentation temperatures were carefully controlled through our glycol chilling system and were not allowed to rise above 16o Celsius in order to preserve the delicate aromatics of the wine. This type of temperature control also allows us to stop fermentation without excessive sulphur use in order to maintain residual sugar in the wine naturally. Each of the varietal lots were vinified separately in stainless steel. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, added only after a second racking post-fermentation and minimally topped up pre-bottling to ensure a stable, consistent product. Careful taste trials determined the final blend. The wine was protein stabilized with bentonite and cold stabilized in place in our chilled tanks. The wine was then filtered. The filtration system used was cross-flow, a medium-free method that is the gentlest of any filter on the wine. We chose a Stelvin screwcap closure because we feel it is the best method available to preserve the freshness that is key to this wine.
Food Pairing Notes
The Noble Blend is classically enjoyed with a tarte flambée or choucroûte, but is an excellent accompaniment to the modern cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. This coastal cuisine celebrates the bountiful seafood and plant-based cuisine of a Mediterranean climate which often is passively Asian-influenced with ginger, chili, lime and spice.
Pinot Auxerrois 11%