Vigorous, fine mousse creates a mouthful of lemon meringue and zippy citrus flavours precisely balanced by juicy, racy acidity. The beautiful, lingering, toasty finish is complex. A versatile bubble always ready for fun.
Furlot Family Vineyard, Summerland; St. Hubertus Vineyard, Kelowna; King FamilyVineyard, 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 Chardonnay component of the base wine was picked in passes over two weeks in early September, ensuring a low potential alcohol with the first pick and brisk acidity on the second (riper) pick to add optimum flavor to the base wine. The base wine was slowly pressed on a Champagne, whole-cluster press cycle and the resulting must was hyper-oxidized to stabilize colour and flavours. The Riesling component was picked in the second week of September, ambiently fermented separately, then blended with the Chardonnay. The base wine for this bubble sat on its fine lees over the winter of 2019 in neutral 30 hL French oak cask. It was then blended with the addition of wine from our Riesling solera that was slowly and gently oxidizedwith with no addition of sulphur. In absence of the autolysis that occurs in traditional Method Champagnoise, this technique of lees and neutral barrel aging achieves an interesting and sophisticated, biscuity-fresh and slightly nutty palate to begin a second fermentation. This blend was made sparkling by a second ferment using a pied de cuvée, a Champagne yeast and sugar addition of 13g/L right into the pressurized, Charmat tank which took the wine up to 11.9% alcohol. We chose to add no dosage to the 2019 Quotidien Brut.
Food Pairing Notes
A satisfying accompaniment to fresh oysters, fried olives, gourgères and salty, aged cheese.
Riesling 43%, Chardonny 57%