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Golden Mile Cellars Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2006

External Review by Appellation America:

This winery’s vineyard includes 2.75 acres of Chenin Blanc that is thought to have been planted in 1968. There is not firm certainty on the vine age since Pam and Mick Luckhurst have only owned the winery and the property since 2003. However, there is no doubt that the vines are substantially older than the Okanagan average vine age, which somewhere between 10 and 15 years.The entire Okanagan has a mere 18 acres of Chenin Blanc. There is a good reason that such a fine grape is not widely grown: it ripens very late and it is susceptible to Botrytis. Wines like this suggest that the risk is worth it.Winemaker Michael Bartier regards Botrytis as a good thing because it adds a honeyed complexity to this fruit-driven wine which is fermented to dryness and racked immediately off the lees “to allow no distracting aromas to cover the fruit and the Botrytis.”The resulting wine is dramatic, with aromas of honeysuckle, rose petals and even grass cuttings complementing the honeyed Botrytis notes. On the palate, the fruit is intense, suggesting pink grapefruit and zesty lemon, the latter reflecting the variety’s bracing acidity. In this vintage, the acidity is 9.3 grams per litre, giving this wine a racy finish as well as good aging potential. 90 points.

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  • 2006

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Color: White
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
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Golden Mile Cellars:
The site was originally operated by a partnership between three field engineers who were kicked out of Russia by the communists after the revolution. After irrigation canal water became available inthe early 1920s, they planted tree fruits and ground crops. The land was next sold to Tim Robin, one of the largest growers in the area, who continued to farm it as an apple and peach orchard. ... Read more
The site was originally operated by a partnership between three field engineers who were kicked out of Russia by the communists after the revolution. After irrigation canal water became available inthe early 1920s, they planted tree fruits and ground crops. The land was next sold to Tim Robin, one of the largest growers in the area, who continued to farm it as an apple and peach orchard. The property was sold in a derelict state to Hungarian Arpad Pallay in 1961. Arpad (deceased in 2004) planted apples, cherries and ground crops. He was the first farmer in the lower valley to circumvent the growers’ co-op and took his fruit direct to Vancouver. As a juicy aside, his daughter Kate married the son of the fruit inspector who has always trying to catch Arpad selling his fruit outside the co-op! Peter and Helga Serwo purchased the winery site in 1985. Coming to the Okanagan Valley in the late 1960s from Germany, where they worked as building contractors and grape growers. They continued these callings in Canada and were responsible for a good chunk of the early Golden Mile plantings including the original Tinhorn Creek site. Pam and Mick Luckhurst purchased in the land in 2003, when Peter and Helga wanted to slow down after 50 years of viticulture. Our philosophy The wine making philosophy is to grow great fruit in the vineyard, maintain this fruit character through careful steps in the wine making, and finally, to perfect the texture of the mouthfeel of the wine with the use (or not) of barrels and fining. Great wines are grown in the vineyard, period. Grapes brought in from the vineyard at a certain level of quality cannot be made into a higher quality wine. Thus, we use good growing practices and low cropping yields to ensure that the vines and fruits receive the correct amount of sunshine, water and nutrients to put them in a position to make great wine. We like to use oak barrels. All reds and certain whites are aged in oak barrels for varying lengths of time, looking for the perfect balance between fruit intensity and oak extraction. While the taste and effect of oak barrel aging are pleasing, they should never dominate the fruit flavour of the wine but rather complement it. The final blend is painstakingly arrived at, whether it is several lots of Chardonnay to make a varietal Chardonnay wine, or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc lots to make a blended red wine. As all grape lots that are received at the winery are kept separate thoughout their processing and ageing, there are many blending options available to make a wine that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Blending is primarily about brining complexity; it's about building layers. A singer varietal wine can present itself louder, but do you hear the trumpet or do you hear the symphony? Read less

External Reviews for Golden Mile Cellars Old Vines Chenin Blanc

External Review
Source: Appellation America
10/16/2008

This winery’s vineyard includes 2.75 acres of Chenin Blanc that is thought to have been planted in 1968. There is not firm certainty on the vine age since Pam and Mick Luckhurst have only owned the winery and the property since 2003. However, there is no doubt that the vines are substantially older than the Okanagan average vine age, which somewhere between 10 and 15 years.The entire Okanagan has a mere 18 acres of Chenin Blanc. There is a good reason that such a fine grape is not widely grown: it ripens very late and it is susceptible to Botrytis. Wines like this suggest that the risk is worth it.Winemaker Michael Bartier regards Botrytis as a good thing because it adds a honeyed complexity to this fruit-driven wine which is fermented to dryness and racked immediately off the lees “to allow no distracting aromas to cover the fruit and the Botrytis.”The resulting wine is dramatic, with aromas of honeysuckle, rose petals and even grass cuttings complementing the honeyed Botrytis notes. On the palate, the fruit is intense, suggesting pink grapefruit and zesty lemon, the latter reflecting the variety’s bracing acidity. In this vintage, the acidity is 9.3 grams per litre, giving this wine a racy finish as well as good aging potential. 90 points.




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