September 8 - November 5, 2015
The Benchmark 2015 will develop for well over a decade. Drink now through 2028.
Dark ruby center with a ruby rim. Aromas of dark berry fruit, bramble, and leather. Flavours of black current and chokecherry with floral notes and a hint of vanilla. Medium plus weight with full ripe tannins that knit together with medium plus acidity allowing this elegant wine a lasting finish. Perfect with satisfying winter dishes like roasted winter root vegetable risotto with a generous amount of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
2015 was another fantastic year for viticulture in the Okanagan. Winter ended early giving the grapes a head start and a longer growing season than expected. Spring had hotter than average temperatures, reminiscent of the record breaking 1998 season. This translated into our first bud break happening at the beginning of April. Summer was a hot one! June saw record breaking temperatures. The jump start in June put the grapes about 3 weeks ahead of schedule in terms of growth. We started our harvest with Chardonnay in mid-August. The last week of August brought the first major hurdle for 2015: heavy smoke hung in the Okanagan Valley due to large forest fires burning in the South. Smoke cooled the valley and slowed growth due to photosynthesis debilitation, giving the grapes the opportunity to slow sugar production and develop flavour characteristics and tannin. Safe and sound: there was no smoke taint detected in any of the berries. 2015 was one of the best harvests on record, long and hot with just a touch of Summer rain on the finish.
The component grapes are from four vineyards all located on the Naramata Bench: Chapman Vineyard, Indian Rock Vineyard, Munson Mountain Vineyard, and Hudson Vineyard. The bunches were handpicked and sorted in the vineyard. After de-stemming, the berries were hand sorted again to ensure that only perfect fruit was included in the ferment. The three grape varietals were crushed, held cold for four days and then fermented separately. 25% of the wine spent time in new French oak barriques. The remainder of the wine saw a combination of one and two year old French oak barriques. Aged for an additional eighteen months in our cellar prior to release.
52% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc