Photo: Winemaker Daniel Bontorin
This is the third consecutive vintage of the Seven
Directions Pinot Noir Rosé that I have reviewed.
Looking back on the notes for the 2012 and 2013, I am struck
by the impressive consistency of the wines. Each of those was scored 91 points.
Guess what the score is for the 2014!
It might be hard to find an Okanagan winemaker more
passionate for rosé than Daniel Bontorin, a consulting winemaker whose clients
include Volcanic Hills Estate Winery. His own label, Seven Directions, produces
Daniel’s rosé-making pedigree goes back to the 2005 vintage
when he made Vaïla, the outstanding rosé still produced at Le Vieux Pin. That
wine, along with rosé from JoieFarm Winery, probably started the renewed
interest in a wine style made now by the majority of wineries.
Vaïla is a Pinot Noir rosé. Daniel made three vintages at Le
Vieux Pin before moving on to consulting. Subsequent winemakers at LVP have
continued to make it in the same vibrant and juicy style of the original.
Daniel made the first Gamay Noir rosé for Volcanic Hills in
the 2010 vintage. The wine promptly won a Lieutenant Governor’s Award of
Excellence. Daniel continues to produce the Gamay rosé for his client. The
varietal choice is determined by what is available at Volcanic Hills.
For his own rosé, Daniel likes Pinot Noir, choosing the
organic Pinot Noir grown by Kalala Vineyard. “The 2007 Vaïla was from the
Kalala Vineyard, so I knew the quality of the fruit,” he says.
In his notes on the current release, Daniel says: “Sourced
from a single vineyard, the grapes for this 2014 Pinot Noir rosé were
organically farmed in the cool climate Kalala vineyard of West
. The soil for these 20-year-old self-rooted vines consists
of mostly sandy loam, alluvial deposits and small pebbles intermixed with fine
clay granules. [The vines are] naturally yielding a mere 2.07 tons per acre …”
The inspiration for the Seven Directions rosé comes from France
“I have been drinking some French rosé wines the past couple of years,” Daniel
says. “I like the texture and the feel.”
Here is a note on the current release.
Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 ($24.26 plus tax for 130 cases). The wine presents
itself with a dark Sockeye salmon hue. It has aromas of cherries, strawberries
and apples. On the palate, there are flavours of strawberry and grapefruit.
Fermentation and four months aging in French oak has contributed good
structure. The wine has a crisp, dry finish. 91.