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2015 Fortissimo

Winemaker's Notes

Fortissimo is our way of paying respect to the pioneers of Tuscany who challenged the traditions of winemaking in the 50s and 60s to gain recognition for their wines.

2015 Fortissimo is comprised of 63% Merlot,17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Sangiovese and 9% Cabernet Franc. Albeit young, this wine is as outstanding as we thought it would be; all the components are married seamlessly together. The large format puncheons and Hungarian/Slavonian oak are evident in the subtle way the oak is present. Overall the wine has fantastic layers of flavour and nuances. Bing cherry mingles with red and black cherry fruit. Herbal underbrush notes meet tobacco notes and damp earth. One built for early to mid-term drinking, as well as cellaring with a medium+ aging curve ahead.


Veal Osso Bucco or Tuscan Roast Lamb with a rosemary crust.

Region:South Okanagan
Soil Type:


Age of Vines:various. most in mid teens
Yield:3.6 tons per acre
Production:1711 cases of 750ml, 120 magnums, 12 double magnums
Aging:15 months in French and Slavonian Oak barrels and puncheons. 16% new, 9% second fill, the balance in Neutral barrels.


Milk chocolate, blackcurrant, some herbal notes on the palate, gentle tannin giving just a hint of grip on the finish. Notes of coffee on the length. (RH)Drink 2018-2030

Richard Hemming (MW)  |  Jancis Robinson  |  Tasted: Fall 2017

89 Points

Reductive waves opens this youthful Fortissimo at first, a blend of 63 merlot, 17 cabernet sauvignon, 11 sangiovese, 9 cabernet franc from the south Okanagan. Fifteen months in French and Slavonion oak barrels and puncheons (16 percent new) was employed. After decanting (or do as I do and open it a day in advance) any reductive notes have resolved and you’re left with layers of sunripened cassis, wild blackberry, thorns, dried tobacco and dark earth, wrapped with firm, fine, gritty tannins. Serious and stately, this drinks well now with rabbit or lamb, but will reward more with time in the cellar.

Treve Ring  |  Tasted: Sept 2017

89 Points

The ’15 Fortissimo is a 63/17/11/9 mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc and it’s impressive from the get go. Large format puncheons and Hungarian/Slavonian oak have set the fruit free and the high level of merlot has kept the tannins manageable. The attack is juicy with bright black cherry fruit over a savoury underbelly, tobacco notes and even a touch of Italian earthiness. Veal osso bucco or roast lamb are classic matches. Love the new-found finesse here; it’s on the right road now. You can drink this now but it will be better in three to five years.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Tasted: August 2017

90 points

Fortissimo is a lighter weight red (in the the La Stella universe) blending 63% merlot, 17% cab sauv, 11% sangiovese and 9% cabernet franc. It pours fairly deep purple-ruby and shows ripe grapy/blueberry fruit and dried rose petal with inlaid dusty oak earth and spice. It is medium-full bodied, fairly firm and slightly juicy with softer tannin engineered for more immediate drinking. The length is very good.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

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