With its mouth-watering acidity, subtle sweetness and moderate alcohol content, Riesling is arguably the ultimate example of balance in wine. This combination of sugar and acid also makes it extremely flexible when it comes to food; Riesling has aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruits, flowers, and spice that allows it to support a wide range of pairings. The greatest mouth-watering examples I know originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley. In fact, this Riesling is made from one of those original Becker Test Plots planted in 1978, now 39 year-old vines. Our goal each vintage is to increase the flavour intensity, so we make this wine in a Spätlese style; not sweet but just slightly off-dry enough to keep it mouth-watering and juicy. We allowed six months of fine lees contact in order to create a wine of great complexity that will be long-lived.
Old Block St. Hubertus Vineyard, Kelowna (Becker Test Plot planted 1978)
- The grapes were hand-harvested and a sorting table was utilized to ensure only the healthiest fruit went into the wine. After being de-stemmed, the berries were crushed and soaked overnight at cellar temperature. We monitored closely for a desired drop in acidity without acquiring any astringency. The must was dumped by gravity into the press (a more gentle method than pumping) and a slow, gentle pressing was utilized via a pneumatic press. A two-day settling allowed us to achieve maximum flavour and nutrients in our must before it was racked for ferment. Our cooling system allowed us to maintain a clean and controlled ferment that lasted two weeks in stainless steel. The wine was left sur-lie in tank for six months before bottling to add mouthfeel and freshness to the wine. Sulphur levels were kept minimal to preserve maximum bouquet and added only after post-ferment second racking and pre-bottling. Residual sugar - necessary to balance the juicy acidity and crucial for lending definition to the intensely flavoured, old-vine fruit - was maintained via a cold-stop to the fermentation, which had already naturally slowed on its own. The wine was protein and cold stabilized ten months later, then filtered using the gentlest method, crossflow. We chose a Stelvin screw-cap closure because we feel it is the best method available to preserve the freshness that is key to this wine.
- The wine exhibits a delicate nose of dried mint and mineral. On the palate, the structure is medium-bodied, with moderate alcohol and carries 18g/L of residual sugar to balance its crisp, bright acidity. The nose carries over onto the palate where intense flavours of lemon, lime, and ginger explode in your mouth and follow through to a long, lingering, lip-smacking finish.