The grapes in the 2019 Chardonnay underwent 24 hours of skin contact before being pressed and left to settle overnight. The juice was then racked and fermented in 20% new French Oak barrels, aged sur lie for 10 months, then transferred to tank for a further six months before being fined and filtered for stability, and then bottled in February of 2021. This is 20 months from harvest to release, plus however long it takes to make its way into your glass. The 2019 Chardonnay comes from two vineyard sites in Oliver and Osoyoos that allow fruit to ripen fully, but that are cool enough to retain acidity.
2019 dealt growers a tough hand in terms of viticulture. A warm spell in January followed by extreme cold weather in February reduced the potential crop size early on. Mercifully moderate and smoke free weather through the summer was interrupted in mid-September when wet weather increased disease pressure, and a large population of starlings began to feed on the ripening fruit. In October a Thanksgiving frost dealt the final blow to farmers’ aspirations of a plentiful harvest. Nonetheless well placed vineyards, farmed diligently, saw some of their best fruit in recent years. Lower fall temperatures helped retain acidity, and the extended ripening season allowed flavours to concentrate fully, producing well balanced wines.
The 2019 Chardonnay is fleshy yet restrained, with savory autolytic flavours and a balanced oak regimen. Here, Okanagan Chardonnay does what it knows how to do best, somehow displaying both a rounded mouthfeel and a linear focus.
-- Winemaker's Notes