What strikes you first strikes about Nighthawk Vineyards wines?
The labels! Nighthawk Vineyards is proud to feature the inspiring artwork of renowned Okanagan artist Alex Fong on all of their labels. Alex is a good friend of the owners, Daniel and Christy Bibby, and has truly captured the majestic view from the vineyard, bringing the local Nighthawks to the forefront. Alex Fong has a personal style that has become his hallmark. His translucent, impressionistic paintings are distinguished by a parade of coloured flecks that he calls ‘confetti’, to represent his celebration of life. The result is an exquisite balance of spontaneity and grace.
For background on the winery by Green Lake in Okanagan Falls see my earlier post.
I had the opportunity to taste these five wines with family members last week. It is always interesting to be able to compare wine notes with fellow tasters who have a wide spectrum of wine experience.
Nighthawk Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2015 13% Alcohol. The high altitude estate vineyard imparts aromatic elegance and minerality, distinctive to this Gewurztraminer. The grapes were hand-harvested and sorted followed by a whole berry gravity “crush”, with minimal skin contact. After fermentation, the wine was racked into stainless steel where it was cold stabilized, filtered and bottled. This is an exceptional fruit forward wine. The luscious stone and tropical fruits jump right out of the glass. The Gewurztraminer features white peach, nectarine, grapefruit, pineapple, floral notes and spice; it’s smooth on the mid-palate with a crisp long finish. Pairs well with spicy Asian dishes, roast ham, roast pork tenderloin, grilled chicken, or great on its own.
Nighthawk Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 13.5% Alcohol.The 2015 growing season was exceptionally hot and dry, which made for an amazing vintage of estate grown Chardonnay. Aged for 10 months in French Oak, this delicate wine features aromatic elegance and mineral complexity distinctive to the high-altitude vineyard. Aromas of butterscotch, green apple, peach and lemon. It is medium bodied, silky and smooth on the mid palate with a crisp long finish.
Nighthawk Vineyards Rosé 2016 12.5% Alcohol. A crisp and vibrant wine, with the aromas and taste of raspberry, rhubarb, and watermelon. With a limited time on French Oak, the Pinot Noir Rosé features delicate floral notes and minerality, creating a textured mouth feel. A perfect pairing with fresh BC oysters or crab, cured meats, sharp cheeses, or as a summer patio wine.
Nighthawk Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2015 Medium body with soft tannins, bright acidity and 14% alcohol. Hints of ripe raspberries, black currant, dark chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla bean. It has subtle fragrant notes with a charming, aromatic elegance, and a soft but structured mouth feel.
Nighthawk Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 13.5% Alcohol. This medium-bodied Pinot is as smooth as velvet. The estate Pinot Noir features delicate hints of ripe cherries and raspberries, vanilla bean, and the minerality distinctive to the high-altitude vineyard. This complex wine was finished in Tuscan concrete tanks, creating a textured mouth feel. My favourite pairing is with BBQ salmon.
Please go to the Nighthawk website to order these excellent BC wines.