We’ve long been dedicated to our love of Chardonnay, and like anything worth its weight, this small but mighty piece of our portfolio has gradually and rightfully emerged as a touchstone for us; alongside its noble cousins, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
A golden butterscotch in colour, classic Chardonnay aromas of lemon zest, almond and baking spice abound. Toasty aromas of baked stone-fruit crumble and oats are also present, hinting at the integrated oak profile found in this complex wine.
The palate bursts with concentrated notes of lemon, salted caramel, orange and cardamon. Its medium weight carries a silky mid-palate juxtaposed with a hallmark Tantalus mouthwatering acidity found in our Central Okanagan parcels of Chardonnay. Excellent length here and built to age gracefully.
The backbone of our flagship Chardonnay is sourced from estate 1985 plantings alongside younger components of Dijon clones, planted between 2006 - 2007. The 2020 fruit was picked over two days on September 28, at optimal ripeness.
After pressing, the free run juice underwent 100% spontaneous fermentation and was then aged for 10 months in French oak barriques and puncheons (30% new). Secondary fermentation (ML) occurred naturally over the first four months of élevage. The wine was then filtered prior to bottling in Fall of 2021. Clonal selection: 76 & 95.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Residual Sweetness: .75 g/L
Total Acidity: 6.07 g/L
92 points - Anthony Gismondi, Gismondi On Wine, July 2022
"Its reductive leesy nose and palate paint a tightly restrained fruit picture built around pears and green apple with a citrus undercurrent and a touch of spice. A blockbuster effort from a generous vintage, it should easily go the distance to 2028 and beyond. It's rare to see such a concentrated effort this far north, but I embrace it with gusto."
90 points - Treve Ring, Gismondi On Wine, July 2022
"This, their flagship chardonnay, is built around their estate 1985 plantings alongside younger vines planted 2007-07, across a mix of clones 76 and 95. All was native ferment, then aged for 10 months in French barriques and puncheons (30% new) with full MLF. Richer and riper than their young vine Bear Chardonnay, this fills the mouth with creamy pear, green apple, lemon zest and curd, seasoned with nutmeg and clove. A more luxuriant style of Okanagan chardonnay."
The 2020 vintage will be remembered as a small but mighty one, in a year we will of course never forget. Mirroring the winter of 2019, a cold snap of under -20 C in late February harmed several vines and buds but fortunately damage was not as extensive as the previous year. Above average rainfall in May charged the soil with water and gave the vines everything they needed to hit the ground running after bud break. A period of cool and wet weather in early July coincided with flowering, unfortunately resulting in uneven berry set across the property.
Summer was about as good as the vineyard crew could have hoped for: lots of sunshine, warm temperatures but not too much excessive heat. Vine growth caught up but we eased into harvest a week later than usual, in the second week of September. Luckily, smoky skies on the early days of harvest quickly dissipated so that we enjoyed clear days for the remainder of harvest. Dry conditions and mild temperatures allowed us to pick each block at perfect maturity. Unlike in previous years, the first frost (and snow!) did not arrive until late October, and we escaped harvesting our last bunches in whiteout conditions by only 12 hours!