Amphora Syrah 2019
6 Bottle Maximum
This small cap release is a tribute to how wine was made in ancient times. Using a hands-off winemaking approach, this is our 6th year of working with 2 500L terracotta clay Amphorae. The result is a wine that challenges you to define it to a specific region or style.
This medium body wine has violet on the nose and anise and fruit leather on the palate. Its concentration harkening to an almost appassimento character. The balanced acidity play off the natural tannin extraction nicely.
INSIDER TIP: Originally used in ancient Greek & Roman days, this approach embodies the artisan desire to make wines more naturally with wild ferments and minimal intervention. For more information on the Amphorae, click here.
The 2019 Amphora Syrah project is in its third year with a blend of 91% Syrah and 9% Viognier. At harvest, we placed whole berry Syrah and Viognier grapes in our 2 500L terracotta Amphorae and left them fully untouched for 8 months. After 10 days, the natural wild ferment began at a low temperature and slowing progressed for 5 weeks. This hands-off approach resulted in slower extraction from the grape skins, while the tannin worked as a natural antioxidant to protect the wine.
Part of the experience of working with Amphorae has been to explore the boundaries of winemaking. In past vintages, the Viognier Roussanne has been left on skin progressively longer starting with 5 weeks and in 2013 ending with 5.5 months on the third vintage. The switch to Syrah for 2016 and 2017 extended that further to 8 months . The wine was then pressed off, bottled and hand waxed. Having worked with the Amphorae for multiple vintages, the winemaking team is now starting to find the right amount of time on skins, hoping to give you unique, yet approachable wines.
In 2019 Mother Nature decided to hit us with many curve balls. The winter started off mild, even warming to above 0°C in January, however this would not last and in February we returned to more normal cooler temperatures. Spring began cool, but as summer approached the temperatures warmed, giving us a typical Okanagan summer with temperatures not peaking too high. The season looked promising, with talks of harvest starting slightly earlier. September started beautifully, but in the second week, the rain came and kept persistent throughout the month. October gave us some reprieve, until the frost hit the valley October 10th, causing ripening to shut down in many vineyards.
Harvest commenced September 25th with Pinot Gris from OK Falls. Shortly after, the Pinot Noir and Merlot started coming in and things did not slow down for the next month with the last grapes arriving November 5th. Despite the myriad of weather events, you can expect the wines to be fresh and vibrant with complex flavour profiles and balanced acidity.
100% Estate fruit from our Perfect Hedge Vineyard on East Bench Osoyoos.