Savoury and supple, our Select Vineyards Merlot opens with aromatic vanilla, cocoa and cherry notes along with a hint of Okanagan sage. Palate pleasing flavours of ripe berry fruits along with winter spices follow, ending with a smooth and full finish. Fabulous for any night of the week, try paired with tasty tomato-based pizzas or savoury flat breads with fresh herbs and feta.
The 2021 growing season in the South Okanagan was one for the history books as the driest on record, due in large part to the “Heat Dome” and its record breaking high temperatures. It was also one of the warmest years, seeing the most growing degree days GDD (1758) since 2015. Following flowering, we experienced an extremely dry and hot June during fruit set. The heat led to a lighter fruit set and smaller berry size than usual. While there was less fruit per vine and the yield was light in volume, on the upside the smaller berries in the clusters resulted in more concentrated flavours and colours on the red varietals. Similarly, for the white varietals there are intense flavours and vibrant aromatics. With the warm dry season, the grapes reached phenolic ripeness earlier than usual with harvest commencing and finishing early. We began picking the whites on August 27th for our Ti Amo (Prosecco-style sparkling wine). We started picking our first reds in mid-September with our block 10 Merlot on September 14th at our historic Golden Mile Bench estate vineyard. We finished our last estate reds pick with Cabernet Sauvignon from block 8 of our Golden Mile Bench vineyard on October 28, 2021. Overall, the 2021 harvest produced wines of outstanding quality and varietal character. We expect to see some intense, fruit driven wines, with excellent depth of flavour.
This delectable Select Vineyards Merlot is made with handpicked fruit from our own Vineyard Manager’s property nearby, along with three select long-time growers in the Oliver area. The good growing season for this year’s vintage resulted in exceptionally ripe fruit with ample colour and structure. Following harvest, the grapes were sorted and carefully destemmed with our new French destemmer. This process is extremely gentle on the fruit enabling the berries to remain whole, helping foster the natural fresh fruit aromas. This was followed by alcoholic fermentation in our Italian Ganimede tanks and a light pressing. The wines from the different vineyards were then tasted, blended and aged on fine lees for 8 months with 60% French oak along with 40% American oak used prior to bottling for a beautifully rounded Merlot with generous flavours.