Amphora VRM 2018
This Small Cap release of only 210 cases, is a tribute to how wine was made in ancient times. Using a hands-off winemaking approach, this is our 6th year working with 500L terracotta clay Amphorae. We purchased 4 more and now have a total of 6 on hand. The result is a wine that challenges you to define it to a specific region or style.
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.
This beautiful golden amber coloured wine has vibrant notes of quince, beeswax, and tropical fruits with hints of baking spice.
Makes a perfect aperitif.
This is the second vintage of Amphora VRM, with a blend of 50% Viognier, 17% Roussanne, and 33% Marsanne. At harvest, we placed whole berry Viognier grapes in 3 of our 500L terracotta Amphorae. The other 3 Amphorae were filled 2/3 Marsanne and 1/3 Roussanne. All 6 vessels were left covered and untouched for 65 days. The grapes were then pressed together and aged further in Amphora and neutral barrel. This hands-off approach resulted in slower extraction from the grape skins, while the tannin worked as a natural antioxidant to the wine.
2018 was a long, moderate vintage, slightly cooler than the 5-year average but similar to the long-term norms of the Okanagan. The winter was mild, the spring cool, thus resulting in a somewhat later bud break, followed by a uniform and healthy flowering. The summer was a typical Okanagan summer, hot and dry, which allowed for optimal fruit development. In August, the temperature dropped and the smoke from local wildfires caused a constant cloud over the valley, blocking the sunlight. This slowed photosynthesis and delayed veraison.
Harvest commenced on Sept. 19 with Pinot Gris from OK Falls. September was cooler, which forced a longer growing season and allowed for a steady pace of grape harvesting. The fall weather continued to be warm up until the beginning of November when temperatures dramatically dropped. The last of the Bordeaux Reds were brought into the cellar Nov. 2, just in time to avoid processing outside in the cold. Overall, expect nice flavour complexity, slightly restrained alcohol levels, balanced acidity and freshness.
The viognier was from East Bench Osoyoos. The Roussanne and Marsanne were from West Bench Oliver.