Photo: Stag's Hollow Winery owners (photo courtesy winery)
Stag’s Hollow Winery has always had a fairly large portfolio of wines- and that is the way the owners like it.
“You know us,” laughs Linda Pruegger, who owns Stag’s Hollow Winery with husband Larry Gerelus. “We can never go a vintage without making a new wine.”
New next spring, there will be a 2018 Blanc de Noirs from Stag’s Hollow. It is made primarily with the winery’s Ritter Clone of Pinot Noir, with a little Gamay Noir. The wine, which shows a slight blush, is being aged in oak and is getting regular lees stirring to build texture. About 200 cases will be bottled.
The winery’s penchant to be different has been aided its Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard. This 18-acre property just north Okanagan Falls was acquired in 2011. To date, 10 acres has been planted, with about three more plantable acres remaining.
Shuttleworth Creek is just two km north of the winery’s estate vineyard. The two properties have begun to produce enough fruit that Stag’s Hollow is about 85% self-sufficient. The two vineyards are quite different aspects, giving the winery the option to grow a wide variety of grapes.
Shuttleworth Creek grows two Spanish varietals, Albariño and Tempranillo; two Italian varietals, Dolcetto and Teroldego; six clones of Pinot Noir and a small block of Vidal. This spring, Stag’s Hollow planted Syrah here as well.
“Our goal is to make rosé from the Syrah vines,” Linda says.
The winery’s current releases include an Albariño from Shuttleworth Creek, a Pinot Noir from the estate vineyard, and a Syrah from the grower-owned Amalia Vineyard near Osoyoos.
Here are notes on the wines.
Stag’s Hollow Albariñ0 2017 ($18.90). This wine begins with appealing aromas of citrus and melon with floral notes. On the palate, there are flavours of apple and tropical fruits around a spine of minerality. The finish is crisp. 91.
Stag’s Hollow Pinot Noir 2016 ($21.99). In the technical notes accompanying the wine, Stag’s Hollow notes that the wine is “slightly more masculine” than its Pinot Noirs from Shuttleworth Creek. That reflects the fact that the estate vineyard, a sunbathed bowl, is the hotter of the two vineyards. Dark in colour, the wine begins with aromas of cherry mingled with earthy notes. The palate is juicy, with flavours of cherry and good acidity to keep the fruit bright and lively. The texture is silky. 91.
Stag’s Hollow Syrah 2016 Amalia Vineyard ($25.99). The wine begins with aromas of black pepper, fig and plum. There is a big gob of sweet fruit on the generous palate, with the flavours echoing the aroma. 92.