BC Wine Tasting in Golden BC
Over the Father’s Day weekend we headed to Cedar House Chalets in Golden BC to meet up with our son’s family, who drove in from Calgary. It was a great weekend in the mountains and we also had the opportunity to taste some BC Wine, six of Lunessence Winery & Vineyard’s latest releases. It is always good to be able to compare wine notes with fellow tasters who have a wide spectrum of wine experience. The tasting notes are provided below but first some background on the winery.
Vineyard and Winery
Michal Mosny, the General Manager and winemaker uses traditional, old school winemaking methods and combines them with modern and effective winemaking equipment. By knowing the soil, climate and winemaking, he can focus on the potential in every bottle. Wines made traditionally attract their natural varietal character, they tend to be fruitier with gentle honey, cream and walnut tones. Simply put, they contain all the flavours you smell in the vineyard. They have bigger structure and bouquet with deeper complexity and taste.
All the white wines benefit from long contact with both their skins and lees. Barrels are used to underline the character of the variety. Vinification of the red wines is focused on extracting bold fruit flavours. Ageing takes place in a variety of French, American, Hungarian and Slovakian barrels and even in old neutral wooden vats. Much has also been made of his playing classical music in the vineyard.
According to Michal, “Lunessence Winery & Vineyard was developed on two main poles. Nature and Music. The Name Lunessence means – Luna in Latin is Moon, Essence – means that the moon, nature is the essence of our winery. We do all our work in the vineyard and in the winery according to the lunar calendar. We are slowly transiting to biodynamic farming which means using only forces of nature to grow healthy grapes. But we want to grow to this level, not just following some certification rules. The second most important thing is Music. Our estate grapes are listening to classical music as well as all our wines in the cellar. The goal is to have positive energy and balance in the wines and in the winery. As our slogan says: Harmony from vine to wine.”
Lunessence has a 6.5-acre vineyard. The white varieties in the vineyard are Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Oraniensteiner (only 5 acres total planted in all of BC). The reds are Merlot and Syrah. With a significant quantity of this fruit directed to making dessert wines and Icewine, Lunessence buys many of the grapes it needs for table wines from the South Okanagan. The 2014 Riesling Icewine was just awarded the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines.
- 2015 Lunessence Sauvignon Blanc Muscat. 330 cases produced. Handpicked on 12/10/2015 at 23 Brix. The juice was macerating with the skins for 6 hours. Fermentation took place in stainless steel for 34 days and aged another four months on the lees. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Viognier, Chardonnay and Semillon. This is the best white wine we have tried so far this summer. Fruity peach and floral aroma. On the palate a complex blend of white peach, green apple, kiwi with a deliciously creamy dry finish that lingers. A refreshing multi-dimensional wine that stands on its’ own or with food.
- 2015 Lunessence Pinot Blanc Oraniensteiner. 250 cases produced. Handpicked on 14/10/2015 at 23.8 Brix. Oraniensteiner is unique German variety developed to produce sparkling wine. This higher in acidity grape has been blended with late Harvest Pinot Blanc resulting in a harmonious wine. The juice was macerating with skins for 2 days and fermentation took place in stainless steel 47 days and aged 2 months on the lees resulting in 23 g/L. This dry fruit forward wine has a soft citrus bouquet with character and texture.
- 2014 Lunessence Sauvignon Blanc. Only 80 cases produced. Handpicked on 2/10/2014 at 24.5 Brix. After de-stemming and crushing the juice was kept on skins for one day to maximise extraction of unique terroir. Partly wild, stainless steel fermentation. 30% aged in Slovakian barrels for 5 months. A dry style wine with an attractive and delicate balance of lime grass, mint. Balanced acidity and minerality give the wine clean, fresh flavours and a long finish.
- 2015 Lunessence Rosé. 250 cases produced. SOLD OUT. 30% Pinot Noir from Naramata was harvested early on 2/9/2015 to retain acidity. 70% Cabernet Franc was harvested on 20/10/2015 from a wild Vineyard in Osoyoos. Maceration for each was 3 days. After natural fermentation, the wine was aged on lees for 35 days and then another four months in stainless steel. On the palate, there are refreshing flavours of strawberry and cherry. The finish is dry to this “bigger” than average rosé . 22 g/L residual sugar.
- 2014 Lunessence Cabernet Sauvignon. 330 cases produced. Hand-picked on 10/10/2014 at 25 Brix. Fermented at high temperature for 18 days and in small lots. Went through full malolactic fermentation. Aged 6 months in Slovakian, French and neutral oak, 6 months in stainless steel. The cab has a subtle floral bouquet. On the palate red cherries, black currant and nicely integrated oak. Smooth tannins and ready to drink now.
- 2014 Lunessence Merlot. 200 cases produced handpicked on 6/10/2014 at 27.5 Brix. Fermented at high temperature for 15 days and in small lots. Went through full malolactic fermentation. Aged 6 months in Slovakian, Hungarian and French Oak, six months in stainless steel. The winemaker’s objective was to express an ideal balance of oak and red fruit characteristics true to Merlot. Wow! This is a huge dark brooding Merlot at 14.5% alcohol. The wine is a dark, deep black cherry colour. The big mouthfeel of black cherry, blackberries and plum, black pepper from the oak with well-balanced acidity. Appears young on first pouring but opens on aeration. Will definitely age well.
If you would like to buy any of these wines the link to the winery site is here.
Make sure you visit Lunessence the next time you are on Bottleneck Drive in Summerland.