Earlier this week I attended a tasting of the latest wine releases by Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries. These two wineries are located in the Okanagan and belong to the same winery family. Mr. Rasoul Salehi, the Director of the two enotecca wineries, and their viticulturist/winemaker, Mrs. Severine Pinte. I spoke with Mrs. Pinte. She has started working with Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries approximately 7 months ago. She comes from the Langedoc region in France where she worked as one of the winemakers in a co-operative there. We spoke about fermentation with indigenous yeasts, blending wines, and her style of wine making. It was quite interesting.
The goals of this tasting by enotecca were to:
- Focus on 2010 whites and rose (from Both Le Vieux Pin and LaStella) which be officially released mid-April
- Launch of Le Vieux Pin’s Rhone Ranger Program
- Sample a few Library examples from both Le Vieux Pin and LaStella to follow their evolution
There was a wide range of wines for everyone’s different tastes. A few of my latest release picks are:
– Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Pinot Noir Rosé 2010. Light pinkish salmon colour. Raspberries and strawberry fruit on the nose with a bit of raspberry leaf as well. Off dry with light body and medium acidity. Quite nice strawberry flavour with some almonds on the finish. The grapes for this wine come from one of the organic Kalala vineyards in West Kelowna.
– Le Vieux Pin Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Lots of herbal and pine needle aromas and flavour. Medium acidity with a long finish. Very bright flavours. A wine to enjoy with some shellfish this summer or maybe a Greek salad.
– Le Vieux Pin Pinot Noir “Adieu” 2008. This I have read from their website is the last vintage, thus the “Adieu” on the label. I really enjoyed this wine and hope they decide to bring back Pinot Noir in the future. This wine had a light cherry and red delicious apple aroma. Very dry with cherry, raspberry and vanilla flavour with a long length, and a dried cherry finish.
– Le Vieux Pin Syrah 2008. This is the start of Le Vieux Pin’s Rhone Ranger program (along with their Viognier-Roussanne which was also quite nice). The grapes for this syrah come from the Black Sage Road area in the Okanagan. The vines are still young; 3-4 years. This wine is medium garnet in the colour. Earthy aroma along with dark fruit and smoky raspberries. There is bright acidity right up front when you taste this wine. Smoky raspberries and vanilla flavours with a long finish. It will be interesting to see how the wines evolve as the vines mature.
– La Stella Allegretto 2008. This is 100% Merlot grown from their Stag vineyard in Osoyoos on it’s own rootstock! Deep purple in the glass. Lots of raspberry, cherry and vanilla on the nose. Full body with mocha, cherry and vanilla flavour, and a hint of raspberry. Medium tannins with a long finish.
– La Stella Leggiero Unoaked Chardonnay 2009. Light lemon colour. Flowery and grapefruit aromas. Quite an unusual nose, but very nice! Light body with lots of pink grapefruit flavour and a bit of almonds on the finish. High acidity to keep the wine refreshing. Long length. I very nice wine.
– La Stella Moscato d’Osoyoos 2010. This wine has yet to be bottled, but will soon be. Pale lemon colour. Lots of orange and flowery aromas. Some sweetness on the palate with lots of tangerine and mandarin orange flavours. Light body with light acidity. A fun wine to drink.
They also opened some of their library wines so we could see how their wines age. Some of my notes:
– Le Vieux Pin Apogee Merlot 2005. Deep purple red in the glass. Cherry aroma wish slight raspberry and vanilla. Medium body with a fair amount of acidity to keep the wine bright and refreshing. On the palate there was black cherries, oak, some leafiness, vanilla and then some smokiness on the finish. Still tastes like a young wine and I think can age a few more years without problem.
– Le Vieux Pin Belle Pinot Noir 2005. As I mentioned earlier, Le Vieux Pin has removed their pinot noir vines, so these wines represent what was once. You can taste this wine and imagine being in the vineyard. This wine had a slight earthy aroma to it. High acidity with bright raspberry and some red cherry and vanilla flavours. Medium length. This is another wine that I think still has a few years of aging potential left. I look forward to trying it again.
– La Stella Maestoso Merlot 2006. This is a big wine. Deep purple in colour with lots of tears on the side of the glass when swirled. Mushroom and red cherries on the nose. Grippy tannins. Cherry, dark fruit, a bit of leafiness to it, and some vanilla. Medium length.
I hope you have a chance to try out the Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wines, and visit them when you are on your summer holidays in the Okanagan. Enjoy!