Benchmark 2016 1.5L
October 10/23/25/29, 2016
Dark ruby. Aromas of red berry fruit, bramble, and leather. Flavours of black currant with notes of sage 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.
2016 was a test of patience and persistence in our vineyards, Spring arrived very early and warm, with bud break 4 weeks ahead of normal, putting our vineyard crew into high gear with great anticipation for the growing season ahead. A late April snowstorm in South Osoyoos took the thriving vines by surprise, destroying a tiny fraction of our petit Verdot vineyards. The summer that followed turned out to be wetter and cooler than expected, which slowed fruit development and forced increased vineyard management and around the clock weather monitor-ing. Luckily, our saving grace came with the long, warm fall season that saw a gradual cool down in temperature week after week, thus giving the grapes extra time to achieve full ripeness and flavour characteristics. The first handpick was in our Osoyoos vineyards on September 20, 2016 about four weeks later than in 2015. The extended fall season was instrumental in preparing the vines to survive what was to be the coldest winter the Okanagan Valley has seen in 50 years. The slow cooling process throughout fall allowed the vines time to enter a gradual dormancy, turn woody and store their reserves for hibernation. Overall, the 2016 growing season was long and weathered. We are grateful for the persistence and patience of the vineyard crew and Mother Nature, which resulted in yet another fantastic vintage.
52% Merlot, 30% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3.5 Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5% Petit Verdot
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.
The Benchmark 2016 will develop for well over a decade. Drink now through 2028.