As Sal D’Angelo anticipates the release of his 2012 vintage wines he took some to think back to the season that has resulted in exceptionally good wines. While most Okanagan producers admit the season wasn’t as easy to manage as more recent years, there is general agreement that the crop was abundant in quantity and quality.

“I do remember thinning three times, and that the season was two weeks late in the spring, when it rained every week. We bunch thinned down to one bunch per shoot. Then, because of all the rain, we went back in and cut all the shoulders from each bunch. We later went back in to remove any green berries.

From a harvest that began on October 16th, Sal made his first rosé using the saignee method, where the juice is bled off the skins after limited contact. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo grapes were used. The D’Angelo flagship wine, Sette Coppa, in another first, consists of 35% Malbec in the 2012 version. With 18% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and 13% Petit Verdot, the blend was then aged for 26 months in the barrels first used by the renowned Opus One winery in Napa. The result is a beautifully coloured, softly tannic, peppery Bordeaux-like blend that will thrill fans of Super Tuscans and Bordeaux.

A visit to the D’Angelo tasting room often includes a chat with Sal himself, a genial host and masterful storyteller. It is a not to be missed Naramata Bench experience.

~ Lorne Eckersley

(photo: Stephanie D’Angelo marries Matt Fitzpatrick)