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October 16-October 21, 2020
Deep purple in colour, our 2020 Malbec boasts enticing aromas of black cherries and iris blossoms. The palate displays notes of dark plum, raspberries, thyme, and a hint of espresso on the finish. The soft tannins and round acidity provide a balanced, well-integrated varietal representation.
2020 began with a rapid winter cold snap that saw temperatures drop from 3 °C to -18 °C in a matter of 8 hours. Cross sections of the dormant buds confirmed no vine damage. Due to COVID-19 lockdown protocols, the beginning of the harvest was a family affair with the Holler family pruning over 60 acres as a team. Full vineyard budbreak in Osoyoos happened April 15, Skaha Bench on April 20, and Penticton April 29 – a little later than average. Early June was cool and wet in the Okanagan Valley. The weather started improving June 18th with the real Okanagan heat arriving the second week of July and staying until mid-September. The Mount Christie wildfire was a big scare for Penticton and Okanagan Falls. The fire came 500 meters from our Skaha Bench Vineyards but luckily the smoke from the wildfire did not settle in the vineyard. Autumn was beautiful with temperatures between 20-25 °C through to early October. Green leaves on the vines until October 22 helped the red grapes to ripen beautifully. A surprise snowfall late October saw 8 cm of snow fall and the race was on to get the grapes into the winery. As is tradition, the last bunch was picked mid-day on November 9, in our Munson Mountain Cabernet Franc vineyard. 2020 provided its challenges but with the summer heat and extended autumn it was another great vintage in the Okanagan Valley.
The Malbec is grown and harvested from our Naramata Bench and Osoyoos vineyards. The bunches were hand picked & sorted in the vineyard. After destemming, the berries were sorted again to ensure that only perfect fruit was included in the ferment. The berries were crushed and cold soaked for three days. During fermentation the wine was pumped over twice daily to ensure proper tannin and colour extraction. Malolactic fermentation occurred in barrel over the course of the year. The wine was then aged 21 months in 15% new French oak and a combination of one and two use barrels. The wine was further aged in the bottle for an additional 34 months in our cellar prior to release.