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Winemaker’s notes | Gustav Allander
The Waltz Pinot Noir blend is based predominantly on grapes from Foxtrot’s own Evelina’s Block and from the Raisin D’Etre Vineyard which lies almost directly below the Foxtrot property. Evelina’s Block, consisting predominantly of own-rooted vines, was planted in 2012, using cuttings from Foxtrot’s original Estate vineyard. It lies south and slightly lower down the slope than the Estate Vineyard and has sandy loam soils with veins of sand and gravel running down the slope, remnants of long dormant streams. The Raisin D’Etre vineyard is located south of the winery below Naramata Rd. and is farmed by Rebel and Jim Solley. Planted to clone 828, the soils in the Raisin D’Etre vineyard consist of chalky clay on the lower bench land overlooking Okanagan Lake.
The 2017 growing season started off slowly, with cool weather and lots of rain. Bud burst didn’t take place till early- to mid-May, with flowering taking place in mid-June. This was quickly followed, however, by warmer temperatures. The summer was very warm and dry and there were 82 days without any rain. Smoke from forest fires stayed out of the valley bottom and actually benefited the ripening by providing protection from the intense summer heat. By veraison the smoke had cleared, but ripening had been slow, resulting in an additional 3 weeks of hang time and later picking dates than in the previous two harvests. Growing degree days were 1394.
Fruit from Evelina’s Block and Raisin d’Etre was picked in mid-October. At the winery this fruit was mostly destemmed, with a small portion left in whole cluster. Wine from the two vineyards was vinified separately. Typically, at Foxtrot, we cold macerate for about 3 days. After cold maceration the fermentation vats are warmed and fermented, in this case using cultured yeasts. Manual punch downs are typically performed over a two-week period three times per day, reducing to twice daily towards the end of fermentation. At the completion of fermentation, the juice is transferred into a combination of new and used French oak barrels. The wines from each vineyard were aged separately in a combination of new (about 30%) and older French oak; they underwent full malolactic fermentation in barrel and were aged for a period of about 20 months before being blended, along with a lesser proportion of pinot noir from another vineyard in the Okanagan Valley which we felt married well with the Evelina’s and Raisin fruit. Prior to bottling in October 2019 the wine was racked and filtered.
The 2017 Waltz Pinot Noir displays complex fruit aromas including black cherries and raspberries, as well as soil tones and notes of spice and coffee. On the palate, there is an abundance of red fruit, as well as a touch of chocolate; it displays a bright minerally acidity and is developing a creamy texture. Moderate tannins on the finish suggest that this wine will keep well over the medium-term.
Bottled: October, 2019
Released: November, 2019
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