2013 Leggiero Un-Oaked Chardonnay
2013 is a tale of two vintages in the same year. Dry and warm autumn is almost a sure thing in our region. 2013 was a rare exception. We had an unusual string of rainy days in the middle of harvest in mid September. The characteristic of the wines is as such dependent on if the grapes were picked before or after the rainy period. Wines made from grapes harvested before the rain virtually needed no sorting as they showed clean and robust flavors of a dry growing season with plenty of very hot days. The rain was a double edge sword though and a blessing in disguise if you will. On one hand it provided an opportunity for the vines to continue pushing forward for better sugar/acid balance and greater phenolic maturity but on the other hand it meant the arrival of rot (need for extensive sorting) and flavor dilution in less than ideal sites (not to worry we have no mediocre parcels). Sorting was the key word along with when the fruit was harvested and in which site it was grown. Buyers of Okanagan wines in general are best to shop by producer and well-known sites for their quick draining soil make up. Taste before you buy is our recommendation in general but in particular for 2013.
The best Italian Chardonnay hails from the cool climate region of Alto Adige. Almost always made in an un-oaked fashion, it is a wine that expresses the pure minerality of Chardonnay with beautiful acidity and crisp fruit flavours. The 2013 Leggiero offers up a balance of apple, lime rind and white orchard fruit. The palate is harmonious with a great burst of lemon puff and green apple on the mid-palate that plays into a medium length mineral infused finish.
To play off the complexity of flavours and textures, enjoy this wine with a variety of seafood dishes. Fresh BC oysters, Salt Spring Mussels steamed in a light lemon grass and ginger broth, or seared local rock cod topped with a fresh herb butter and squeeze of lemon will all match delightfully.
|Region:||North Oliver, Golden Mile|
Glacio Fluvial: Silt and Gravel mix, Alluvial deposit and Sand/Clay Gravel, Schist and Loam
|Age of Vines:||13+ years|
|Yield:||2.5 tons per acre|
|Aging:||5 months in Stainless Steel on fine lees with no battonage|
This is a Chardonnay that delivers refreshing purity of fruit. The wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel with, happily, no lees stirring, which would have created flavours masking the fruit. There are crisp citrus aromas, with flavours of green apple, lime and white peach around a spine of minerals. The finish is crisp and refreshing.
John Schreiner | Tasted: May 2014