A wine with generous fruit and structure, this Old Vine Merlot displays heightened aromas of ripe Italian plum, cocoa, vanilla, and sage brush. The palate is framed by winter spices, lush with ripe cherry and plum flavours. A light hint of sweet oak follows, with a mouth-filling and lengthy finish. Fantastic fruit and structure, pair with BBQ pork tenderloin topped with grilled Okanagan cherries.
The 2019 grape growing season in the Oliver and Osoyoos region was one of remarkable variability, with fluctuating conditions in the winter and fall, and a beautifully balanced summer. Overall Growing Degree Days (GDD) were 1598, above the 20 year average of 1474. Seasonally average temperatures with few heat spikes in the summer resulted in an even growing season. The temperatures in September were somewhat warmer than usual, however we experienced more precipitation than normal. Harvest started September 3 with the last of our white grapes picked on October 2. Our Merlot harvest was completed shortly thereafter, with the last of our reds grapes picked November 4. A severe widespread frost event throughout the entire Okanagan Valley occurred the night of October 9th. Despite this early cold snap, our remaining grapes on the vine were at the ideal maturity levels, with desired ripeness achieved. Crop levels were only slightly below normal and as a whole, the 2019 wines are showing outstanding aromatics and flavours, with bright natural acidity, and good colour and structure.
Crafted with grapes from Block 2 of our Golden Mile Bench estate vineyard in mid-October, our Old Vine Merlot is made from vines approximately a quarter century old. Planted with vines that are Pomerol clone 181 and clone 184, these Bordeaux clones consistently produce fruit that is good for long aged wines. After hand sorting, the fruit was destemmed and gently fermented whole on the skins for 12 days in our Italian Ganimede fermenters. Following pressing, and malolactic fermentation, the wine was barrel aged in mostly French oak, (35% of the barrels were new and the remaining were neutral oak). After aging in barrel on fine lees for 18 months the wine was transferred to tank and subsequently bottled at the end of May. This vintage has a seamless integration of oak and fruit, showing an ideal balance of ripe fruit flavours and acidity.