En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Our “En Famille” Reserve Chardonnay is made from our most prized old vine block of the Con Vida Vineyard on the Skaha Bluff and the Plein de Vie vineyard on the Naramata Bench. We blend the best fruit from each site to achieve a balance that is intensely ripe, mouth wateringly-fresh and savoury all at once. 2017 required dynamic and reactive canopy work given the cooler vintage as well as multiple picks as hang-time extended into late September. The wine is barrel-fermented with primary native yeast and underwent spontaneous malolactic fermentation. It was aged in a mix of premium French barriques and puncheons with only a judicious amount of new oak used. Extended lees contact and monthly bâtonnage enhanced the mouthfeel and resulted in a lengthy savoury complexity.

Varietal: Chardonnay Musqué 100%

Awards & Reviews: 93 points, Rick Vansickle; Bronze, Decanter World Wine Awards, 91 Points, Tony Aspler

  • Con Vida Vineyard, Skaha Bluff Chardonnay 95, 76, 548 - Plein de Vie Vineyard, Naramata Bench
  • Grapes were sorted before being de-stemmed and crushed. The grapes soaked for one hour and were then slowly and gently pressed on a Champagne whole-cluster press cycle. The resulting must was hyper-oxidized (without a sulphur addition at the presspan) to stabilize colour and flavours. After a 24-hour settling, the juice was racked into French Allier and Vosges oak barrels and puncheons for fermentation. For this wine we used exclusively Burgundian coopers, Billion and Damy. 30% were new barrels, 15% were second fill, with neutral barrels making up the remaining balance (55%). HaIf of these barrels underwent an ambient fermentation while the other half were inoculated with a Champagne yeast for a clean expression of site and vintage. All underwent a spontaneous secondary malolactic fermentation, giving the wine a softer texture. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, added only after malolactic fermentation was finished and before bottling. The wine was aged in oak for ten months and lees stirred regularly to encourage mouthfeel, complexity, and freshness. The first racking occurred in June 2018 and then again in July before bottling. The wine was cold stabilized and then filtered with crossflow filtration, which is incredibly gentle and helps to focus the layers of the wine. We chose a high quality, natural cork closure because we feel the gradual exchange of oxygen that natural cork allows will enable this wine to improve for five to seven years and hold for at least ten. The 2017 Reserve Chardonnay was bottle-aged nine months before its release.
  • Its core of lemon oil and hazelnut skin is accented by juicy acidity and is further augmented by smoky coffee bean and bacon flavours - savoury elements of its Burgundian cooperage. Fruit from these vineyards are rich in ripe pineapple and creamy Meyer lemon flavours but always retain their fresh, racy edge. Enjoy this wine with umami-driven foods like miso-rubbed corn or chanterelle mushrooms.