An exemplary “goldilocks” season, which saw an early and dry start to the spring, a pleasant summer with no huge heat spikes, and a temperate autumn. Despite being one of the warmest seasons on record, the lack of heat spikes enabled a nice and consistent ripening of the fruit. The cooler temperatures in September were beneficial in slowing sugar development while still allowing for tannin and flavour maturation, creating a beautifully balanced vintage. Our viticulture team harvested two weeks earlier than any previous year, yet achieving exceptional fruit quality and flavours in our Similkameen Valley reds. Growing degree days from April to October of 2014 in Cawston were 1,666, well above the local ten-year average of 1,261.
Terroir and Microclimate
Located high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, Vanessa Vineyard’s grapes are cultivated on 75 acres of sloping, well-drained, rocky terrain. The vines grow in rows of rocks, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights. Planted in a west to southwest exposure, the rocky vineyard basks in the afternoon sun. Ideally situated, the vineyard benefits from a long growing season, with low yields of intensely ripe fruit. The unique stony site produces fruit with complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive.
Crafted from only 100% estate grown and hand-picked fruit. The grapes were destemmed and underwent a gentle crush before small-batch fermentation and hand punch down to maximize flavour and extraction. This cuvée is almost entirely comprised of free run juice with only a small quantity of pressed juice added to balance the tannins. Fermented and barrel aged for 26 months in mainly new and one year old American and French oak barrels that were medium-plus toast. Beautiful integration of the soil minerality gives the wine exceptional character and quality.
Handsomely rich and intensely aromatic, our inaugural Merlot opens with a bouquet of black currant, ripe cherries and cocoa. Ruby in colour, with a palate that delivers dried fruit flavours of currants, apricots and prunes, with smooth chocolate undertones. Careful execution of oak integration, with fine-grained tannins and balanced fruit creates an engaging wine with a silky, polished finish. An exceptional 2014 growing season delivered a fabulous vintage.
- Merlot 85% / Cabernet Franc 15%
- Merlot Clone 181 Bordeaux, France
- Cabernet Franc Clone 331
- Pyrénées-Atlanliques, France
- Alcohol – 14.9%
- Residual Sugar – 1.0 g/L
- Total Acidity – 7.0 g/L
- pH – 3.5
- Brix – 30
- Cases Produced – 570
- Released – 2017
- SKU – 052189