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October 16th, 2015
A rich, fortified wine that is deep ruby colour. Aromas of black cherry, vanilla and star anise. The palate is full and coats the mouth with notes of ripe raspberry, black currant, and juicy sultanas. The finish is of medium length with velvety tannins
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 and June saw record breaking temperatures, about 30% hotter than the 1998 season. With these temperatures, the vineyard team gave priority to controlling vine vigour and closely monitoring and managing soil moisture levels. 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 over the Okanagan Valley due to large forest fires burning in the South (most dramatically in Oliver/Osoyoos). 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. The remaining fruit was harvested by mid-October. In summary, 2015 was one of the best harvests on record: long and hot with just a touch of summer rain on the finish.
This fortified wine is made from Syrah harvested from our Haynes Creek vineyard (65%) and our Chapman estate vineyard (35%). To ensure the wine's quality, the grapes were hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard, indicating a meticulous approach to grape selection. After the grapes were harvested, additional spirit was added to raise the alcohol content to 20%. This step is typical in fortifying wines, as it helps preserve the wine and adds richness and complexity to the final product. The fermentation process was then stopped at a residual sugar level of 70 g/l. This means that the winemakers halted the fermentation before all the sugar was converted to alcohol, leaving some sweetness in the wine. Following the fermentation process, the wine was aged in puncheons which allows it to develop further complexity and integrate flavors from the oak. Finally, after the wine was deemed ready, it was bottled, marking Poplar Grove's first fortified wine. This is an exciting milestone for the winery, as it demonstrates their willingness to explore new styles and techniques in winemaking.