One of the benefits of living in the Okanagan Valley is the close proximity of the 200+ BC wineries and the opportunity to drop in for a wine tasting with very little planning. Ann Sperling had been kind enough to share her natural wine experiences with me for a Hot Wine Trends article I wrote back in January. This included a suggestion to try the new Sperling Vineyards Amber Pinot Gris as a perfect example of a natural BC wine. So last week I dropped by the Winery. Unfortunately, Ann was at her a seven-acre Malbec vineyard near Mendoza in Argentina, but wine server Kim did an excellent job of explaining the nuances of all the wines available for tasting. Kim also mentioned that the winery had recently received their Organic certification.
Sperling VineyardsNatural Amber Pinot Gris 2015 12.5% Alcohol, Total Acidity ~6 g/L, Residual Sugar < 1g/L. This wine was awarded a gold medal at the Wine Align awards in the Pinot Gris category (i.e. along with all the juice-only made pinot gris, the largest volume white wine made in BC). These grapes were hand harvested, fermented in small lots – 40% whole clusters and the remainder of the vat filled with stemmed & crushed grapes. Wild yeast and malolactic fermented this wine to complete dryness in 4 weeks. The wine was pressed and settled and after ageing was bottled with its lees. Nothing was added nor taken away. What strikes you first is the dark orange colour. On the nose hints of bergamot (earl grey tea), peach pit, apricot, and apple skin. Medium bodied with citrus and orchard fruit on the dry but concentrated palate. Fresh acidity carries the grapefruit tinged finish.
Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 Dry and crisp like a good rosé should be with aromas and flavours of raspberry and strawberry. The texture is full and the finish lingers.
Sperling Vision Label Pinot Noir 2014 This is a single barrel selection. The wine plays the usual Pinot Noir trick: the colour a bit light but the texture is full and satisfying and the flavours explode with notes of cherry, strawberry and spice.
Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 Hand harvested in October from Dijon clones 114, 777, and 828; sorted and co-fermented in small lots. After a gentle pressing, the wine was aged in large format barrels. This is a bold Pinot Noir, more like the ones I remember from our many Santa Barbara wine tastings, the result of the hot 2015 East Kelowna summer. Aromas of violets and flavours of spicy black cherries. The texture is silky. This was my favourite of the two Pinots.
Make sure you visit Sperling Vineyards the next time you are in Kelowna and try these outstanding BC wines.