After three atypical vintages in a row, the 2012 growing season is a return to a more typical summer growing season in the South Okanagan Valley. After an initial scare of unusually high record rainfall in late spring the remainder of the growing season was an absolute dream come true. Mid July till late fall gave us very hot days combined with typical cold desert nights. Growing degree days for the South Okanagan were above average and certainly much higher than 2010 and 2011. One of the hallmarks of this vintage was extremely uniformly ripe and clean grapes with minimal need for sorting (quite the opposite of 2008 and 2010). The resulting wines are more fruit forward with round structure thanks to plenty of sunshine and heat units; the cool nights resulted in excellent, piercing aromatics and bright acidity in the wine.
Stringent canopy management and timely leaf removal results in a spectrum of varietal characteristics ranging from tropical fruits to classic gooseberry and grass. The cool nights of the Okanagan provide great natural acidity and structure while keeping the fruit profile zesty and vibrant. Borrowing a little old world flair from Didier Dagueneau, we used partial oak fermentation and aging, extended lees contact and occasional battonage for added complexity and texture.