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 La Frenz Winery

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24 April 2018

 

2018 Spring Release

We are pleased to announce the first wine release from the LAFRENZ 2017 vintage showcasing our vibrant white wines. The varietal fruit character and mouthfeel of these wines is truly amazing. 

The 2017 growing season was a great year, it kicked off with budburst at the beginning of May which seemed late to some after the record breaking 2015/16 seasons, but was actually very typical for the Okanagan. May and June received mild temperatures accompanied by higher than normal rainfall. This resulted in some vineyard blocks needing little, if any supplemental irrigation throughout the entire season. True “dryland farming “ that resulted in the small concentrated berries we strive for each year. July and August were beautifully warm months that continued throughout September which accumulated impressive growing degree days.  October became very mild but by this time our individual vineyard blocks were already at 95% desired ripeness. These milder temperatures allowed us to harvest superb quality at the peak of flavour development and at a relatively leisurely pace.

With every passing year I am even more convinced that our vineyard management is now down to a fine art and plays a key role in the consistency from year to year and the sheer concentration we achieve in our wines.

I have to mention our recent top shelf successes at the Platinum Judging conducted last December by Winepress Northwest, US.  At this competition only northwest wines that have been awarded a gold medal in the previous 12 months are invited to participate and are judged alongside each other. This is considered the “best of the best” from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and BC.  It was great confirmation for LAFRENZ to win 2 double platinum and 3 platinum awards which placed us #9 winery for total platinum awards in the 18 year history of the competition. Wine critic Eric Degerman, Winepress North West magazine had the following praise “ the all-time top 20 list are the who’s who of the Northwest industry “ , “ this Naramata winery ranks among the elite” .

I was asked recently why we enter wine competitions after 20 years? The answer is, we enter only major national and international competitions as a means of benchmarking our wines. It would be far easier to just make outrageous claims but I believe great results in reputable wine shows indicate where we are, rather than where we claim we will be.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc - We are very consistent in producing a wine reminiscent of the fresh herbal NZ style. This fresh crisp wine is loaded with kiwi fruit, spicy passionfruit and green bean. The palate has amazing body, richness and length for this variety. A perennial favorite, our Sauvignon Blanc is probably the most awarded in the entire North West over the past decade. The 2017 release continued the winning tradition with another Gold at the recent Cascadia competition in Oregon.

2017 Semillon - This wine reminds me instantly of lemon meringue pie. It brims in its youth with lemon rind and grapefruit over a core of honeyed tropical fruits. These same flavours continue onto the mouth-filling palate and finishes with a hint of salty brine that screams to be paired with oyster on the half shell. This vineyard is now nearing its 3rd decade and it’s this vine age that contributes to the amazing palate density of this wine. Already awarded another Gold at Cascadia Wine Competition.

Our Rieslings

For the first time we have produced two completely different, legitimate Riesling styles to showcase this variety and the vineyards where they were grown.

2017 Riesling Clone 49 - Just a single acre of this clone is planted in our warmer Rockyfeller Vineyard near Oliver. Clone 49 is the most widely planted in Alsace and we have produced a luscious, slightly sweet style reminiscent of the region. The color is a beautiful lemon yellow reflecting the low cropping yields. This wine has all the characteristics of a classic Riesling with honey, wildflowers and granny smith apples. The beautiful off dry palate dances between a sherbet like minerality and residual sweetness, a superb wine that will develop beautifully over the next few years. Silver (Cascadia Wine Competition)

2017 Riesling Clone 21B - This is the most widely planted Clone in the Mosel and we chose to plant this for our cooler Freedom 75 Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. This is a drier style that displays really pretty floral and citrus lime flavours wrapped around a very precise, linear backbone of acidity with just enough balancing sweetness. Silver (Cascadia Wine Competition)

2017 Viognier - This is a very full bodied example of this Rhone variety brimming with tree ripened mango and fully ripened pear with subtle tones of anisette, so unique to this variety.  A portion was fermented in concrete eggs imported from France, this provides incredible texture and density while respecting the varietal fruit.  The flavours are reminiscent of a mouth coating orange creamsicle, simply delicious. Awarded Double Gold at the recent Cascadia Wine Competition.

2017 Chardonnay – this is our classic “peaches and cream “ style.  The intent is to never over power the wonderful fruit of the Freedom 75 Chardonnay but use just a small portion of barrel fermentation to provide just a hint of oak complexities in the final assemblage.  This wine jumps out of the glass with nectarine, white peach and stone fruits. The palate is creamy and rich as a result of a few months aging sur lie on its own yeast lees.

2017 Alexandria – Every year, the seductiveness and purity of muscat fruit in this wine is quite amazing.  I can’t help but think of “gewürztraminer on steroids” with its explosion of lychee, tropical fruits, pink musk candy and rose petal.  It is luscious and sweet reminiscent of a tropical fruit parfait, simply delicious.

2017 Rose Pinot Noir - Back by popular demand this is a limited bottling of Rose made using the saignee method of draining juice from the red skins and then fermenting at cooler temperatures to retain every ounce of fruit character.  This method results in a beautiful bright salmon pink color.  This rose is jam packed with flavours of super ripe freshly picked strawberries throughout, while the palate is textural and mouth filling finishing with the slightest touch of sweetness. A wonderfully savoury rose to be enjoyed chilled over the summer.

2016 DH Pinot Noir - This is another great Pinot from the Desperation Hill vineyard.  Red fruits predominate on the aroma over subtle layers of freshly turned earth, truffles and forest floor complexities. The true quality of this Pinot is shown with its endless nuances of red fruits, sap, earth and cured meat overlaying a mouth filling, textured and visceral palate. This is the classic “clenched fist in a silk glove “ style that we strive so hard to produce each year.

A wonderful selection of wines to choose from, enjoy!

Jeff Martin