Friday, July 13, 2018

Okanagan Trip, Part VIII, a surprise visit to Culmina Family Estate Winery!

When I say "surprise", it was truly a surprise, as we didn't think they were open for another week or so (remember, I am wayyyyyy behind in this trip report, this trip was in April!!). We come here often, but generally have an appointment booked, so we were pleased to see they were open and we took a little detour after leaving Checkmate. Our friends had never been here.

Just three wines to report on that we had not previously tasted, and a couple bonus bottles that we have since purchased and enjoyed.

Culmina Family Estate Winery 2015 Dilemma ($34.00)

Fruit comes entirely from new Chardonnay vines planted on Margaret's Bench in 2011. Aromas of minerals, coconut, baked apple and pear. Beautiful palate of brioche and buttered toast, finishing long with a touch of caramel. If you can't wait, you are going to enjoy this already; but give it 2-3 more years and you are going to have something really special.

Culmina Family Estate Winery 2014 Merlot ($35.00)

The nose is on the lighter side, subtle notes of black fruit and violets, with just a touch of baking spice lingering. Very dry, with flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, toasted oak and blackberry. This is a beast, and you would do well to pair is with a big, fat piece of red meat. My mouth is watering at the thought of it.
Culmina Family Estate Winery 2013 Hypothesis ($46.00)

38% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged for 16 months in French Oak, 60% new and 40% 1-year old. Aromas of blackberry, violets, cassis, cedar and a hint of mint. Cassis and black plum flavors come right up front, joined on the mid-palate by other black fruit, cedar and a touch of vanilla. This has the structure to age for years - no, decades - and improvement is a certainty.

That was everything we tasted at the winery, but since then we have also enjoyed these two beauties:

Culmina Family Estate Winery 2017 Saignée ($24.00)

Bleeding off a bit of juice from each of the best Bordeaux varietal lots (Saignée translates literally to "to bleed"), this method traditionally produces a bigger, fuller, and darker wine. Not necessarily here, as the colour tends to look more like a traditional Provence than something from, say, Chinon, a region known for their Saignée wines. Subtle notes of red raspberry, strawberry, sage and minerality on the nose and palate. Beautifully done.
Culmina Family Estate Winery 2017 Unicus ($27.00)

The Okanagan's first, and IMO best, Gruner Veltliner. Aromas of citrus, pear, minerals, herbs and stone fruit. The palate is juicy and fabulous, flavors of white grapefruit, white peach, nectarine and white pepper abounding. There is nothing quite like it coming out of the Okanagan. Intense yet flirty, elegant yet demanding, this is special every year and the 2017, while perhaps not quite achieving the brilliance of the 2015, is something to behold.

Next up: Another perennial favorite, as we head for a seated tasting at Black Hills!!

No comments:

Post a Comment