Photo: General manager Mike Lang
There is no doubt that Lang Vineyards, one of the original
farm gate wineries in 1990, is back on its feet. Its iconic Farm Reserve
Riesling was judged the best white wine at the 2013 All Canadian Wine Awards.
More recently, at the 2016 All Canadians, Lang won gold for
its 2015 Viognier and 2015 Pinot Gris while the same Viognier and the 2014 Farm
Reserve Riesling won gold at this year’s Northwest Wine Summit.
And you will find a long list of other awards on the winery
Why would I write that it has found its feet again? A brief
reminder of the winery’s history.
The winery was founded by Günther and Kristina Lang, who had
moved from Germany
in 1981, buying a four-hectare (10-acre) property with a vineyard and an
exceptional view. The winery had an enviable reputation when it was purchased
in 2005 to anchor the Holman-Lang winery group. By the time Holman-Lang went
into receivership five years later, the fine reputation had taken quite a hit.
Lang Vineyards was purchased in 2010 by a Chinese mining
executive called Yong Wang. He has revived the brand and he put a Lang back
into the winery by naming Mike Lang, Günther’s nephew, as the general manager.
Mike has had to deal with a parade of winemakers before the
musical chairs stopped last year when reliable Robert Thielicke moved to Lang
from JoieFarm. I was not surprised to find that the wines from the 2015 vintage
are very well made.
I have lost track of who made the wines in 2014. Whoever it
was also did well, especially with the Farm Reserve Riesling, always the most
prestigious wine in the Lang portfolio.
Here are notes on the wines.
Lang Vineyards Bravo White 2015
($18). This is slightly off-dry
blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Schönburger and Muscat. It begins with
aromas mingling floral notes, spice and fruit, followed by spicy peach on the
palate. The Muscat varieties here leave a spicy finish that persuades the
palate this is a dry wine. A great summer wine. 90.
($21). This wine begins with rich aromas of banana and ripe
apricot. On the palate, the mouth-filling flavours are luscious, with notes of
apricot and peach and a touch of hazelnut on the finish. This is a dry Viognier
with personality! 91.
Lang Vineyards Pinot
($19). This wine presents in the glass with a light golden glint.
It is a richly textured wine in a style recalling ripe Alsace Pinot Gris, with
aromas and flavours of ripe pear, ripe peach and ripe apple. The finish is dry
and persistent. 90.
Lang Vineyards Farm
Reserve Riesling 2014
($18). The grapes for this flagship Riesling comes
from 35-year-old vines. The complex aroma here is more properly described as
marmalade rather than petrol because of the intense fruit. On the palate, the
fruit flavours are bright and also concentrated, with notes of lemon and green
apple backed up by a spine of minerals. 92.
Sparkling Pinot Noir/Meunier 2015
($21). This strawberry-hued wine is celebratory
with a full head of effervescence. It has aromas and flavours of cherry and
strawberry and it has a crisp, refreshing finish. 89.
Cabernet Franc 2015
($25). The aromas are dramatic and expressive: dried
cherries, blackberries and plums with a touch of mocha. On the palate, there
are flavours of black cherry and black currant. There is a pleasantly rustic
earthiness on the finish. 90.
Maréchal Foch 2014
($20). Almost black in colour, the wine begins with the
aromas of the variety – a mix of dark plum, chocolate and rare steak. Full on
the palate, the wine tastes of figs, plums and blueberries. 89.