The Waltz Pinot Noir 2018 USA
Winemaker’s notes | Andrea Barker
The 2018 Waltz is a blend of pinot noir fruit from three terroirs: Naramata Bench, Summerland and the Similkameen Valley. Higher than average snowfall levels over winter contributed to high soil moisture content, encouraging greater than average vigour. A cool spring resulted in a slightly delayed budbreak, but by flowering, growth had caught up to average timing for the valley. Warm and dry weather encouraged good fruit set with a potential for high yield. However, there was disease pressure through most of the growing season, which reduced the eventual crop size. Also, during mid-summer, several weeks of smoke from distant wildfires in the region caused extensive sunlight blocking. This reduced photosynthesis and slowed down the onset of veraison. Though delaying harvest slightly, the smoke cover also helped to mitigate extreme high temperatures, allowing for greater fruit development. Strong diurnal temperatures around harvest encouraged the retention of acidity in the fruit, lending to balanced wines. Overall, 2018 was a cooler year than average, with moderate yields and healthy fruit of excellent quality.
The fruit that formed the 2018 Waltz was processed and fermented separately, by vineyard and block. The fruit was partially destemmed, leaving approximately 1/3 whole clusters for added complexity. After 3 days of cold soak, the fruit was inoculated with a choice selection of yeast strains. Manual punch downs were performed over a two-week period three times per day, reducing to twice daily towards the end of fermentation. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to French oak barrels, approximately 30% new, and the remainder, a combination of 2nd fill to neutral. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in barrel and the wine aged sur lies for a period of 14 months, continuing to keep the original vineyard blocks separate until blended just before bottling. Prior to bottling in April 2020, the wine was racked, blended and filtered.
The 2018 Waltz Pinot Noir displays a classic earth-driven nose with subtle notes of cherry, raspberry jam and orange peel. Liquorice and spice complement the earth and iron notes on the palate, presenting a fresh acidity and soft tannins. Lively red tart cherries carry through to the finish. Enjoy now by decanting or cellar up to 3 years.
Acid/pH: 3.92 / 5.0 g/L
Bottled: April, 2020
Residual sugar: 1.7 g/L