Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Vineyard ConVida Vineyard, Skaha Bluff, Penticton; Plein de Vie Vineyard (clones 76, 95, 548 Mount Eden), Naramata Bench
2015 was a hot and the earliest vintage on record in the Okanagan Valley. Considered a “winemaker’s vintage”, many critical choices were required along with the resolve and focus of our cellar team. April was warm and occasionally hot, which prompted bud break in the last week. 2015 did not see our typical rainy June and the ongoing heat encouraged rapid canopy growth that required constant management. Flowering was early and fruit set was heavy. We were loath to conduct any green-thinning and instead used the extra crop to retard premature ripening. Veraison began the third week of July and was completed by the end of the month. Above-average temperatures continued through August, berries began to soften and many varieties were approaching 16o Brix by mid-August. Picking for our sparkling wine began on August 17th! Hot temperatures were relentless through August and early September. As soon as our first and second picks for bubble production were complete, the Pinot Noir for rosé was ready. Crush began in earnest and did not stop until all of our varietals were in. Our viticulture team performed more picks than usual, making sure we were picking for acidity at lower brix while leaving enough left to hang for more phenolic development and flavour (hard to achieve in an early vintage). This created more ferments to manage and blend, but allowed us to make naturally balanced wines in both alcohol and natural acidity, which is the hallmark of JoieFarm’s winemaking. We earned our stripes in 2015.
Our “En Famille” Reserve Chardonnay is a careful barrel selection from our most prized block at our Joie-run vineyard sites on the Skaha Bluff and Naramata Bench blended to create an indigenous expression of Chardonnay inspired by the finest wines of the Côte de Beaune and the Mâconnais. The 2015 vintage is the result of careful handling and canopy work during a hot vintage, with the primary native yeast and malolactic fermentations happening in a blend of premium French barriques and puncheons. The mouthfeel and overall length are enhanced by extended lees contact and the bi-weekly bâtonnage that lends savoury complexity to this wine.
Tasting Notes and Pairing Suggestions
Aromas of ripe peaches and honeydew melons, nut skin and drawn butter. Peach, focused ripe spartan apple, and briney oyster flavours move into a juicy finish with precise acidity to balance the intensity of ripeness in a hot vintage.