SO AN IRISH GUY WALKS INTO THE CRUSH PAD………
Written by Brett Kawagachi
So……. it seems that I hear every week, that some new person has a new wine from a new winery that “I have to taste!!!” These people are usually from unrelated backgrounds than wine business, nor do they have any food or restaurant backgrounds. Getting into the wine business is not a cheap endeavor. The land, expensive. The vines, expensive. The equipment, the barrels, the bottles, the corks/capsules. All expensive, expensive expensive!!!! Ok made my point.
I was asked to meet with one such individual about a year ago. “Arghhhhh” I thought to myself, but the contact was through one of my bosses so I quickly put myself in touch with the gentleman, like last week fast. His name was Skip and he had bought a property called “Coolshanagh”. I knew in the back of my mind that I was familiar with that property and with some quick research found that one of the top Chardonnays that I had had from the Okanagan over the years was produced from that property. A quick call back to Skip and we were to meet in Naramata to see, feel and taste his wares.
Most of the time it turns out that some of the products are maybe OK at best and more than likely not good at all. But then you have one of those moments when that idea gets shattered in your own mind and somebody who has no background, no experience and no real business getting into the wine world knocks it out of the park! This is one of those stories.
“Coolshanagh” or “a meeting place for friends” is a property at the end of the Naramata bench. High on a bluff with loads of calcium carbonate laden rocks, western exposed, a small 2 and a bit acre property of Chardonnay. The fruit was sold to another winery by the previous owners, but my new friend Skip decided that he was going to give it a go himself. Wow what a great roll of the dice.
Skip had memories of his father drinking white Burgundies so in his mind’s eye, he knew what he wanted to produce. After discussions with Michael Bartier at the Okanagan Crush Pad they partnered up. The use of the Crush Pads cement eggs for aging, Skip has achieved what many others either strive for.
The 2012 and very first vintage was tasted both from tank and from bottle over the last 8 months. Out of the tank the fantastic mineralistic characters of the property were shining. And with a slightly tropical note to the fruit, balanced acidity and slight notes of new French oak I was excited to find out where this would go.
The 2012 Coolshanagh Chardonnay is a perfect mix of pure fruit flavours of citrus, green apple with slight oak notes that creep in that the end of your sip. The balanced acidity and good wet stone mineralality make this Chardonnay a real head turner. Search this out. This is a special bottle of Okanagan wine and can be found at select restaurants and some very lucky private stores. You can also search the web site to join the mailing list for this little BC gem! Everybody should be so lucky to have a property that produce such quality fruit.