From the very top of Desperation Hill Vineyard
25 April 2017
2017 Spring Release
Spring of 2017 marks a lot of milestones for me. Celebrating 40 years in the wine industry and 18 years since the inception of LAFRENZ, I could not be more excited and proud of the wines we are releasing this year. Simply stunning!
Growing seasons: Every year, managing each particular vineyard block to optimize fruit quality is a constantly moving target. This is at the core of our reputation for achieving consistent premium quality wines, year after year.
2016 season started out as the earliest ever in my 22 years in Canada and it promised to be one of the earliest harvests. However, the warming effects of El Niño subsided by late summer and temperatures moderated, followed by an on and off rainfall pattern. Because of this, irrigation in many blocks just was not necessary. This season the extended ripening period resulted in incredible body, depth and purity of fruit characters across all of our 2016 whites. Simply amazing!
2015 season was one of the 3 warmest growing seasons of the past 30 years with harvest beginning in early September. We harvested our white grapes early being careful to retain freshness and acidity but had the luxury of leaving our red grapes hanging on the vine to achieve ripeness levels more akin to California. Harvest 2015 will be remembered as a “classic“ vintage with full bodied red wines of warmer alcohol, great opulence, density and phenolic ripeness.
More International recognition for LAFRENZ Pinot Noir
We are proud to be representing the Okanagan Valley at the prestigious International Pinot Noir Celebration held from July 28-30th in McMinville, Oregon. Each year, well over 100 international producers submit samples to be selected in the final 36 featured wineries. This year, LAFRENZ is the only BC winery selected to present its wines. We will be showcasing our Pinot Noir’s and Chardonnay’s over the weekend’s festivities alongside other wineries from Oregon, California, Alsace, Burgundy and NZ. For more information please visit http://ipnc.org/
Our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir is also invited to the exclusive Six Nations International Judging in Sydney, Australia this coming August. This is an invitation only competition where the best wines from Chile, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are compared side by side with judges from each country. For LA FRENZ it is an honour to participate with our wines.
On a slightly different note, we were recently notified by Georgia Straight Magazine (Vancouver) that our Wine Shop Experience was voted #3 from the 300 wineries in BC in their spring readers’ poll, thank you to those that voted for us.
Our seated tasting experience that we introduced in 2016 has been a huge success and represents a not-to-be-missed opportunity to learn about the intricacies of both, our portfolio and reserve wines. Reservations are highly recommended during busy weekends or beat the crowd by arriving early in the day. A big thank you is due to the wonderful people we have working in our Hospitality Centre.
Spring release wines May 4th,2017
2016 Sauvignon Blanc: –The aroma brims with our signature style of ripe mango, passionfruit and lemon sorbet. This wine has great body and purity of fruit with an underlying linear herbaceous core. This fresh zingy style has a lovely acidity so reminiscent of sherbet that seems to linger endlessly. A wonderful wine, easily one of the most awarded Sauvignon Blanc in the North West.
2016 Semillon: – This wine is made from some of the oldest plantings in BC from the Knorr vineyard. The density of varietal character and richness on the palate that can be achieved by these old vines is quite amazing. I was recently in the Hunter Valley (Australia) famous for aged examples of Semillon and I didn’t taste a wine that comes close to this. Aromas of ripe pears, marzipan and lemon zest wrapped around a richly bodied, creamy texture. While superb drinking now, this wine will showcase just what the variety is capable of if carefully cellared 5 years and beyond.
2016 Viognier: – The deep golden color is indicative of the great concentration we achieved with long hang times on the vine. Viognier achieves its best at very high ripeness levels resulting in a wine of super ripe aromatic tropical fruits with hints of white stone fruit. These high ripeness levels have achieved alcohol warmth, amazing palate weight and viscosity. This is a phenomenal example of the variety.
2016 Riesling: – This wine is made exclusively from Giesenhiem clone 21B grown on our Freedom 75 vineyard. This clone is widely considered the best Riesling clone available. Again the lemon yellow color is indicative of the wines concentration. It brims with honey, lime and hints of sherbet. The palate has just a hint of botrytis apricot character overlaying a spicy minerality on the palate that dances endlessly.
2016 Chardonnay: – This is our seamless classic “peaches and cream“ style that has converted many an ABC drinker (Anything But Chardonnay). If you could create a wine that tastes like warm vanilla bean custard, poured poached ripe pears and coconut ice cream, this is it. This is a serious Chardonnay created by separately fermenting the four Dijon clones from our Freedom 75 vineyard. Certain small lots are fermented very cool in stainless steel to preserve fruit character while other small lots are barrel fermented to create complexity. This enables us to create an assemblage that is true to style, year after year.
2016 Alexandria: – This is a blend of White Muscat and Schonburger both introduced to BC in the 1970’s Becker project (Geisenhiem). This wine is just so full of tropical fruit, lychee and rose petals, think of Gewurztraminer on steroids. The grapes were handled extremely gently during destemming and pressing, followed by a very long cool fermentation to retain every ounce of pure fruit character. The fermentation was stopped to retain a lengthy balanced sweet finish. It is no wonder this wine has won so many gold medals over the years and has developed such a loyal following.
2015 Desperation Hill Pinot Noir: – a beautiful deep garnet red is indicative of the concentration achieved from low yielding blocks on this vineyard. This wine is just so layered and complex it is almost beyond description. A kaleidoscope of brambly red and dark fruits, overlaid with sweet earth, forest floor and barbecue notes adding further complexity. Unfined and unfiltered to preserve every ounce of its subtle nuances. It is rich and mouth filling with an amazing breadth and depth on the palate making it superb drinking now but with enough structure to see it age beautifully over the next 5 to 10 years.
These are some superb wines to choose from and share with friends.
Pre order your wines at the Wine Shop or online at http://www.lafrenzwinery.com/.
If you are contemplating coming to the Okanagan in May, do not miss the following events.
Join me in “An Afternoon of Heartbreak” at the winery to learn about the intricacies of producing world class Pinot Noir, widely regarded as the heartbreak grape. The afternoon will start with a tour of our Freedom 75 vineyard where I will explain the importance of biodiversity and terroir. Winemaker, Dom McCosker, will then guide you through an interactive barrel tasting. End the afternoon with a tapas style food pairing with an exclusive pre-release tasting of our 2016 Pinot Noirs. Almost sold out, reservations are essential phone 250 492 6690 ext 3.
Come and try our Pinot Noir’s at the BC Pinot Noir Celebration to be held on August 19th, 2017. This wonderful event is a showcasing of BC wineries producing great Pinot Noir and a “must do” for local ‘pinotphiles’. Do not miss out on this unique opportunity. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.bcpinotnoir.ca/
The Dream Café Music Festival is on the evenings of May 20th and 21st. An incredible lineup of live music. For information and ticketing please visit www.thedreamcafe.ca