Region: Okanagan Valley-VQA
Bottle size: 750 mL
Aromas of plum, malt, cherry, caramel and light pepper are followed by a palate lightly spiced with clove and allspice. This great value wine has medium soft tannins and a round persistent finish. Pair with BBQ ribs, BBQ pork tenderloin or lasagne.
Winemaker: Robert Summers
Growing conditions: The 2015/16 winter was relatively mild with no extended periods of major freezing, resulting in uniform bud break. Spring was one of the driest on record; in fact, Growing Degree Days (GDDs) were the highest ever recorded in May. These warm, dry conditions resulted in bud break being two weeks earlier than anticipated. The warm temperatures continued through June, suggesting that harvest could commence as much as a month earlier than normal. However, temperatures changed in July; it was, in fact, the fourth coldest July on record. This cooling July trend, combined with some unseasonal rain, slowed down the ripening process resulting in beautifully complex flavours. Cool fall nights ensured great acid structure, making the 2016 vintage outstanding for both whites and reds. Harvest commenced in early September, much earlier than normal.
Winemaking notes: Despite accelerated growing conditions in the vineyard, exceptional fruit quality meant little intervention was needed in the winery. Individual lots of Merlot were fermented separately to extract maximum colour and tannins. Each lot then underwent a 12-day maceration at 25-28°C, followed by a full malolactic fermentation. After blending, the result is an appealing and approachable Merlot, which is then aged for six to eight months in a combination of French and American oak.
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