Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Clos du Soleil adds another vineyard

 


 



 Photo: Clos du Soleil's Michael Clark

 

It seems that in each passing year recently, Clos du Soleil Winery makes vineyard purchases that assure it a firmer grip on its destiny.

 

In September, the winery purchased the Whispered Secret Vineyard near Keremeos. Clos began buying Sauvignon Blanc from the vineyard in 2014. That led to Clos leasing the vineyard and taking over the farming. This summer, Clos jumped at the chance to buy the vineyard from which it had already been getting some of the winery’s best fruit.

 

“For many years now, this vineyard has provided some of the highest quality grapes going into our flagship Capella white wine,” Michael Clark, Managing Director and winemaker at Clos du Soleil, said in a statement. “In addition, it has provided 100% of the grapes for our late-harvest Saturn wine, as well as our more recent Winemaker’s Series Pinot Gris.”

 

The 10.3-acre vineyard is on the south side of the Similkameen River. Its north-facing slope makes it slightly cooler than Clos du Soleil’s other vineyards on the north side of the valley. The vines, including a small block of Merlot, are 15 years old. Clos du Soleil expects the vineyard to complete its transition to organic in 2020.

 

“Whispered Secret has to be the most enchanting piece of vineyard land I have ever farmed,” says Steve Roche, Clos du Soleil’s vineyard manager. “Nestled between sheer rock faces to the south and the babbling waters of the Similkameen river to the north, here we have beautiful alluvial, loamy soils, with fantastic drainage, perfect for cultivating our superlative Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.”

 

Clos du Soleil began with a 7.5-acre estate vineyard planted in 2007 with Bordeaux varietals. In 2017 and 2018, two nearby parcels were acquired. Les Collines, as the vineyard was christened, has about six and a half acres of vines. La Côte is a 10-acre vineyard.

 

These carefully-farmed vineyards give Clos du Soleil a consistent volume of quality Similkameen grapes to support the winery’s premium products.

 

Here are notes on three current releases.



 


Clos du Soleil Winemaker’s Series Chardonnay 2019 

($22.90 for 119 cases). This is the winery’s first Chardonnay, with grapes from La Côte vineyard. The wine was fermented and aged eight months in neutral French oak puncheons, with less stirring and malolactic fermentation. Aromas of apple and peach are echoed intensely on the palate. The oak is imperceptible, leaving the fruit flavours central in this refreshing wine. 91.

 


Clos du Soleil Winemaker’s Series Sémillon 2019 ($21.90 for 101 cases). The fruit for this wine is from Oliver. Seventy-two per cent was fermented in stainless steel and the remainder was fermented in French oak. Both portions were aged on the less for six months and then combined prior to bottling. In the glass, the wine has an appealing lightly golden hue and aromas of apple, lemon and honey. There are flavours of apple and pear with an herbal note on the dry finish. 90.

 




Clos du Soleil Estate Reserve Red 2016
($54.90 for 96 cases). This blend is 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec, all from the estate vineyard. Dark in colour, the wine jumps from the glass with cassis aromas mingled with blueberry. It delivers flavours of black currant, black cherry, blackberry mingled with hints of vanilla, leather and chocolate. The finish just won’t quit. A powerful and elegant wine with the structure to age for the next decade. 93.

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