Photo: Michael Dinn and Heidi Noble
After two challenging vintages in the Okanagan, nature gave
the winemakers a break in 2012.
In the information accompanying new releases, JoieFarm
owners Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn write: “A perfect harvest season in 2012
brought big, bold flavours, generous alcohol and body to our wines.”
My scores for these wines indicate that I concur with that
assessment. I would not describe the alcohol as “generous” but rather as
“appropriate,” ranging from 11.4% to 13.5%. Every wine has excellent balance.
Heidi and Michael also pay tribute to the vineyards (nearly all
in the north Okanagan) supplying grapes to JoieFarm.
“One of the key factors in developing greater intensity with
our wines has been our ability to source vineyard sites of vines 25 years and
older that add complexity and weight to the wines,” they write. “The quality of
the wines has been further enhanced by our expanding farm operation that saw us
farming over 60% of our vineyards ourselves through a combination of estate
vineyards and leases.”
Here are notes on the wines.
JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2012 ($23.90 for 4,236
cases, 486 magnums and 90 double magnums). There are six varietals in this
blend: Gewürztraminer (35%), Riesling (29%), Pinot Blanc (17%), Pinot Auxerrois
(12%), Schönburger (4%) and Muscat
(3%). The winery describes this as its “most intense and weighty blend yet”
because much of the fruit came from older vines. The wine begins with aromas of
spice, herbs, grapefruit and melons. On the palate, there are layers of fruit
flours – grapefruit, papaya, apricot with a dash of lime on the finish. The
texture is full, fattened up by 10.6 grams of residual sugar against moderate
acidity. The wine is hard to pin down but easy to drink. 91.
($22.90 for 729 cases). This is a delicious juicy white,
with aromas and flavours of pineapple and apple, with a nice spine of minerals.
The wine is crisp and refreshing. The model is Chablis; this improves on that
model with riper flavours and 13.5% alcohol. 90.
JoieFarm Pinot Blanc
($22.90 for 288 cases). Over
the years, JoieFarm has elevated this reliable workhorse grape variety into a
wine worth looking forward to. It has generous fruit on the nose and palate;
lots of fresh apples and a hint of citrus. 90.
2012 ($22.90 for 864 cases). The winery calls this wine “a delicate
balance” – reflecting the exquisite balance of bracing acidity with natural
sweetness. That means the wine has abundant aromas and flavours of lime and
mango. There is a spine of minerals and crisp, mouth-watering finish that
lingers forever. 92.
JoieFarm Muscat 2012
for 446 cases). This is an exceptional blend of Moscato Giallo and Moscato
Canelli grapes – yellow and white Muscat
varieties). The wine begins with delicate aromas of orange blossoms and rose
petals. On the palate, there are flavours of lime, grapefruit and orange peel.
The wine is exquisitely balanced to finish with mouth-watering dryness even
though the wine has 12 grams of residual sugar. 93.
Gewürztraminer 2012 ($22.90 for 222
cases). This wine is a juicy and
tropical interpretation of one the Okanagan’s most popular whites. The wine
begins with aromas of rose petals and lychee. On the palate, there rich flavours
of mango, peach, papaya and citrus fruits, balanced to finish dry with fresh,
cleansing acidity. 90.
JoieFarm Rosé 2012 ($20.90
for 2,699 cases, 340 magnums). This is one of the three Okanagan rosé wines
launched in the mid-1990s that have made it so popular to drink pink. (The
others were Le Vieux Pin’s Vaïla and Quails’ Gate’s Rosé). This is a blend of
Pinot Noir (60%), Gamay (30%), Pinot Meunier (5%) and Pinot Gris (5%). The wine
is juicy and appealing, with aromas of sour cherry, strawberry and rhubarb
which carry through to the palate. The finish is refreshingly crisp and dry.