Riesling: with its mouthwatering acidity, a hint of sweetness, and moderate alcohol levels, can be the ultimate example of balance in wine. It is therefore extremely flexible when it comes to pairing with a wide range of foods. The balance between sugar and acid also allows Riesling to support delicious aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, flowers, and spice. The greatest mouth-watering examples I know originate in Germany, and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley. We make this wine in a Spätlese style; off-dry enough to keep it mouth-wateringly juicy. It is our goal each vintage to increase the flavour intensity in this case using 40 year-old vines and six months of lees contact in order to create a wine of great complexity that will be long-lived.
2016 En Famille Reserve Riesling Awards & Reviews: 92 points, Rick Vansickle; 92 points, John Schreiner
Old Block St. Hubertus Vineyard, Kelowna (Becker Test Plot planted 1978)
- The grapes were hand-harvested and a sorting table was utilized before the grapes were de-stemmed to ensure that only healthy grapes went into the wine. After de-stemming, the berries were crushed and soaked at cellar temperature and monitored closely for a desired drop in acidity without acquiring any astringency. The must was gravity fed into the press (a more gentle method than pumping) and a slow, gentle pressing was utilized via a pneumatic press. A quick 12- to 16-hour 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 about two weeks in stainless steel. The wine was left sur-lie in stainless tank for six months before bottling to add mouthfeel and freshness to the wine. Sulphur levels were carefully managed to preserve maximum bouquet, added only at the juice pan after pressing, following a second racking post-fermentation and topped up pre-bottling. The 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 fermentation. The wine was protein and cold stabilized, then filtered. The filtration system used was crossflow, a medium-free method that is the gentlest of any filter on the wine. 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.
This wine exhibits a delicate nose of dried mintandmineral.On the palate, the structure is medium-bodied, with moderate alcohol, and carries 17g/L of residual sugar balanced with crisp, bright acidity. The nose carries through to the palate where intense flavours of lemon, lime, and ginger explode in your mouth and follow through to a long, lingering, lip- smacking finish.