Our vineyards are situated on the Black Sage bench in the southern Okanagan. We have carefully selected home-rows of grape Vine in our vineyard which allow for the development of complex aromatics and flavors in our wine. The unique terroir brings a different dimension to Chateau Helena.
The southern Okanagan has the warmest climate of anywhere in Canada, perfect for ripening our Bordeaux varieties. At our vineyards on the Black Sage Bench we have recorded less than 6 inches average rainfall per year. Daytime temperatures during the growing season average over 30 degrees Celsius and in the summer there are over 17 hours of daylight, promoting a high level of photosynthetic activity.
The soil types and structures on our vineyard site are lime stone and small rock. Volcanic activity and glacial movement has created a complex soil structure over a millennium.
At winery, we sorted the berries by hand and then destemmed each bunch. We then created many different fermentations in order to micro-vinify each lot according to the variety, the site and the character of those berries. Normally this volume of wine would go into 2-3 different fermentations, losing the individuality of each parcel. We managed each fermentation with total precision, adjusting the maceration regime and temperature of each individual lot.
We practiced the radical method of fermenting red wine in new French oak barrels. We popped the head off each barrel, filled them with uncrushed berries, and then put the head back on. We then rolled each barrel on specially designed racks in order to achieve the maceration we desired. This technique resulted in fine-grained tannins, a rich and concentrated mouthfeel, perfect oak integration and depth of flavor.
To maximize the intensity of aromatics and flavor we drew off 10-15% from each fermentation, thereby reducing the ratio of juice to skins. The resulting RosÃ© was bottled separately and sold, giving a portion of the profits to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
We aged our wine for 20 months in a combination of new and 1 year old French oak barriques. Our barrels come from several different coopers.
Our final blend is comprised of just 29% of the wine that we made. We were severely strict in our blending, discarding any lots that were not considered âoutstandingâ by our winemaking team led by Bill Lui. Several of the most talented winemakers in Okanagan consulted on the final blend.
We did not fine or filter the wine prior to bottling.
Merlot 77%, Cabernet Sauvignon 14%, Syrah 4%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 1%, Malbec 1%
Brix at Harvest: 26.5/L
Residual Sugar: 0.290
TA: 5.480 g/L
This wine shows off a beautiful ruby color, dark and gem-like. Cassis drives the nose along with other ripe red fruits. Layers of licorice, leather, tobacco leaf, clove and salted caramel fill out the nose. In addition, there can be found the classic notes of the Black Sage Bench - sage, wet stone, graphite, and iron.
PURCHASE GRAND VIN
Our wine is exclusively available in a 2 bottles wooden box set. The 2013 vintage is ready to ship now. To request a purchase, please provide us with your details. We will then respond to you regarding availability.
An early spring, similar to 2013, with bud break and all phonologic events happening in perfect harmony, warmer than average temperatures without severe heat spikes and very hot days. However, August and early September brought in somewhat unusual weather with a few rainstorms and cooler temperatures. October came with much higher than usual temperatures, giving our grapes their final perfect ripening and extra hang time.
Our 2014 Chateau Helena Gracious exudes aromas of freshly picked blueberries, blackcurrants, plum and mocha coffee. The blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon intertwine, resulting in a complex wine with an earthy opulence and a long smooth silky finish.
Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 45%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
Our wine is exclusively available in a 12 bottles carton pack. The 2015 vintage is ready to ship now. To request a purchase, please provide us with your details. We will then respond to you regarding availability.