Painted Rock Estate Winery
400 Smythe Drive
Penticton BC, Canada, V2A 8W6
2011 Chardonnay $26.70
This Chardonnay is a great food wine. The oak does not overwhelm on this wine because of its nice restrained use. I wish more Chard producers would be this careful with their use of oak. This is not a buttery Chardonnay by any stretch of the imagination. Nice minerality to it. I always have a bottle or two in the wine rack as it is an excellent go-to wine for dinner.
There were three micro harvests on the Chardonnay. The first harvest of golden clusters was approximately 20% of the fruit, five days later they harvested 60% and another six days later they harvested the remaining 20%. These wines were then made separately and blended after five months in new French oak. We tasted a difference in these in the spring, but the blend has worked for this vintage. The first harvest underwent malolactic fermentation and the others did not, so some nice acidity and structure.
Tech Stuff Residual Sugar .1, PH 3.33, Acid 7.5g/l, Alc 14.3% Aged 5 months Sur Lie 100% New French Oak
Syrah 2009 $36.54
Painted Rock has two different blocks of Syah and we tasted both blocks separately this spring from the barrel and thought that they had a winner here. They won a 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC wines for this wine. I think of this wine as old world styled Syrah . Great purple color in the glass , blueberries, dark cherries and purple plums on the palate. It the spiced notes, and the white pepper notes that we like from the upper part of the Okanagan valley. You will love the nose on this wine. The perfect wine for a nice peppered steak. This wine does not need food to smooth it out at all and we have been known to drink it without food, as an evening sipper. A great wine at good price point.
Tech Stuff RS 2.0g/l, Acid6.1g/l, PH 3.75, Acl 14.3% ,70% new French oak and 25% new American oak 18 Months
Red Icon 2009 $49.02
The nose has some bell pepper, black currants, cedar and a herbal note of mint. The palate has some dark chocolate, coffee with some big fruit, blackberries, and currants from the Cabernet. A big, structured wine with lots of tannins. I have tasted some older vintages of this wine and believe there is a huge aging potential here. Think steak with this one. Winner of A 2012 Lieutenant Governors’ Award for Excellence in BC Wines. Blend 30% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Sirah, 1% Syrah. The Cab Franc we tasted in the barrel was just a blockbuster. Now if we can just convince John to bottle it on it own?
Tech Stuff Acid 5.0, PH3.69, RS 2.0 g/L Alc 14.3% 95% New French Oak 18 Months
John Skinner and his team have spared no expense in equipping the winery with all of the best possible equipment and gear. This press is one of the best you can buy for a low production producer. As you can see, it can only handle small batches and the press rate and pressure can be controlled to very small increments.
Gabriel Reis the cellar master is taking a vat sample of the Chardonnay for us in this picture.
Most these barrels iare quality French Oak along with some American Oak. Very expensive French oak. The oak treatment in all of the Painted Rock wines shows a lot of restraint, we find, with just the right amount of oak and aging that we have come to expect from all the Painted Rock wines.
It may be hard to tell from the picture, but each one of these vines is pruned differently. Painted Rock is pruning each individual vine to its optimum bud count so that each vine is producing according to what it can ripen most effectively. The individual vine pruning will also help the vineyard be more consistent in future years. Here is a quote from John Skinner when I asked for more info on the pruning “It was to tax the less successful plants less, to balance the vigor and carry the right proportion of fruit . Over time it will be one of the important initiatives that we have undertaken to create as a perfect balance as we can in the vineyard”
One thing that is very easily forgotten when drinking a great bottle of wine from a quality producer such as Painted Rock, is that this is a farm. Not only do you have vintage variation, but nature sometimes conspires against you. This picture is a of electrified bear fence. One year a tribe of black bears decided that they liked Merlot, a lot. Then ate twenty tons of it. The bear fence was installed shortly there after.
Owners John and Trish Skinner
Vineyard Manager Barry Green
Cellar Master Gabriel Reis
Acreage 25 Acres
Average case production 5000
Painted Rock Estate Winery
400 Smythe Drive
Penticton, BC, Canada, V2A 8W6
Wine shop open from May 1 to Oct 15 11-5 pm daily
by Frank Haddad