This week – a vertical pour from Clos Du Soleil and 3 new releases from Hester Creek
The invitation was just too good to pass up.
Michael Clark, Winemaker and GM of Clos du Soleil Winery in the Similkameen Valley was coming to Chambar Restaurant in Vancouver to pour two verticals of his wines.
Best of all, he brought his Similkameen neighbour, Master of Wine and co-owner of Little Farm Winery, Rhys Pender.
First tasting was with Capella, their flagship white wine. A classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed and lightly crushed, then cold-soaked for several hours prior to pressing. The wine is fermented entirely in barrel (500L French oak puncheons), with the majority of the fermentations being spontaneous with wild yeast. In some years a portion of the barrels are allowed to go through wild malolactic fermentation as well. The wine is then aged on the lees for 9 months, with occasional lees stirring. Only the best lots are then blended for inclusion in Capella. The wine is filtered prior to bottling, but otherwise entirely unmanipulated.
Capella has truly earned a place in my wine world as one of my go-to favourites. That’s what happens when wine becomes a treat for yourself and others. We tasted 2006/2009/2012/2017/2019/2021
The other vertical tasting was with their red icon Bordeaux blend Signature.
Signature is their flagship blend of red Bordeaux varieties, with most vintages including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Each variety and vineyard block is harvested separately, by hand, at optimal maturity and then gravity-fed to concrete tanks, where it is spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeast.
After a moderate post-fermentation maceration the wine is pressed in a basket press, and then aged for approximately 16 months in 100% French oak barrels, where it undergoes spontaneous malolactic fermentation. A rigorous barrel-selection process is used to determine the final blend. The resulting wine is bottled entirely unfined and unfiltered.
We tasted 2007/2009/2010/2013/2016/2017/2019.
The Clos Du Soleil vineyards are primarily located on the upper bench of the southern Similkameen Valley, which has an arid, hot, desert-like climate, with rocky, mineral-rich soils that produce truly distinctive wines of ripe fruit character, fresh acidity, herbal notes and striking minerality.
Rhys Pender is the perfect co-host for this tasting as he has always tried to convince BC wine fans to cellar their special whites and enjoy them years later. Rhys has also taken part in these same varietal pours back home in Cawston with Michael and brings with him the history of the wines and the vineyards.
Our Second guest is Winemaker Mark Hopley of Hester Creek (Golden Mile)
A wonderful winemaker, Mark Hopley would like all of us to know about three new releases.
2021 Ti Amo
Prosecco inspired, its primarily Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Semillon. $21.99
This clean sparkling wine bursts with fragrant honeysuckle and orchard blossom notes. The inviting palate shows light Okanagan pear and candied citrus, with a light touch of sweetness. A perfect sparkling wine for entertaining, brunch or desserts. At this price, its perfect for larger gatherings, weddings and receptions.
2019 Old Vine Brut $34.99
Made from rare Old Vine Pinot Blanc vines on the historic Golden Mile Bench Vineyard (Thank you Joe Busnardo)
This second vintage displays light honey hued tones with fine, active beads. Bright lemon, brioche and ginger aromas. A fresh and inviting palate invites the joy of lemon zest and fresh biscuits, ending with a clean, and long finish. Beautifully balanced blanc de blanc Brut. This is the wine to celebrate with, enjoy with an olive tapenade, spot prawn ceviche or fresh Pacific oysters with a Meyer lemon ginger mignonette sauce. Loved this bubble. It’s such a delight, you’ll find yourself smiling and giggling. Which, considering our times, is never a bad thing. Highly recommended. Cellar up to 10 years.
2019 The Judge $49.99
What a beautiful wine. I fell in love with this Bordeaux blend the first year they made it – 2008.
Made from the oldest vines on their property.
41 Merlot/31 Cab/28 Cab Franc. Barrel aged 24 months. Primarily French oak (New and Neutral)
Winemaker Mark Hopley judged from the best lots in their cellar to make this iconic wine. Generous aromas of toasted caramel, dark chocolate, fresh blackberry, leather and sagebrush. The fabulous palate expresses ripe cherry, rich cocoa and savoury characteristics with a round, huge finish. A richly textured wine that pairs well with braised short ribs, thick rich stews or full-bodied cheeses.
Can be cellared up to 10 years.
Join Hester Creek throughout next weekend at the winery for daily live music, vendors, vineyard tours, and food trucks! Special features for Friday, September 23rd Food Truck – Pit Stop Smokery ~ 12-4pm Vendors ~ 12-4pm Petit Pétale Flower Farm South Okanagan Snacks Live Music by the talented Ari Neufeld ~ 1-4pm patio & lawn
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON