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October 28, 2019
The 2019 Benchmark will develop for well over a decade. Drink now through 2030.
Medium ruby red colour exudes aromatics of geranium, ripe blackberry and black currant . This medium bodied blend hosts firm tannins with flavours of black tea and dark red plum. Each sip lingers with a long finish, allowing the flavours to unfold and leave a lasting impression. The wine's earthy character is a distinguishing feature, enhancing its complexity and providing a unique personality.
The 2019 winter brought extremes: warm 12° January days to lows of - 22° and lots of snow in February. When the buds started pushing, we noted that the colder months had resulted in a bit of bud and vine death in our Naramata Bench Vineyards. Bud burst was two weeks later than average due to the long winter. The beginning of Okanagan spring was one of the driest on record. However, by the end of June, the valley saw a cooling trend that lasted through most of July and brought much precipitation. At the end of July, the real Okanagan summer started with hot sunny days and little precipitation. The grapes soaked in the summer heat and quickly made up for lost time. Variation in our reds happened right on schedule. September was wetter than usual. October was dry with 15° days and 2 to 6° nights. On October 9th, a -4° frost dropped the leaves in most of our vineyards. After the frost, the weather was perfect to hang the fruit until the end of October, with all the remaining vineyards achieving the right amount of favour, sugar, and acid. No Floods. No Smoke. Overall, it was a low tonnage year with excellent ripe fruit across all varietals in our vineyards.
The component grapes are from four vineyards all located on the Naramata Bench: Chapman, Davenport, Munson Mountain, and Fox vineyards. 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. The wine was held separate for 21 months in new and old French oak barrels and was then aged for an additional 12 months in our cellar prior to release.
The 2019 Benchmark will develop for well over a decade. Drink now through 2028.