The 2013 wines from the Okanagan Valley’s JoieFarm marks the 10th vintage from this top-notch winery located on the Naramata Bench.
From a tiny 800 cases of wine in 2004 to 15,700 cases in 2013, JoieFarm has positioned itself as a powerful force in the local wine market for high quality aromatic wines, rose and, increasingly, mid-weight red wines.
JoieFarm owners Michael Dinn and Heidi Noble work exclusively with varieties popular in Alsace and Burgundy primarily because of their suitability to the climate of the Okanagan but also because those are the styles of wines they like to drink and their affinity for the Asian-influenced, seafood based cuisine of Vancouver where they sell most of their wine.
JoieFarm has reached their peak production of just over 15,000 cases annually and has no plans to increase that. Their new Sworder Road Vineyard is coming online this season and the owners are excited about the potential for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They feel the warm days and cool nights provide an ideal climate for the Burgundian varietals and are intent of exploring their potential.
The winery has hopes to have a small amount of bubbly coming out of that vineyard as well.
JoieFarm continues to raise the bar in the Okanagan, as their summer release of wines aptly displays.
Here’s what to expect from the new release.
JoieFarm Riesling 2013, Okanagan Valley ($23, 92 points) — This is a delicious Riesling from Joie, made in a late harvest style, with a nose that shows lemon-ginger, tropical fruits and a generous smack of wild honey. It’s juicy on the palate, yet maintains a vibrant feel with chalky minerality, lemon-lime and honey notes. It’s pure, clean, fresh and deliciously satisfying.
JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2013, Okanagan Valley ($23, 92 points) — This is another popular Alsatian variety that Joie excels with. The nose is fuelled by wonderful minerality, melon, pink grapefruit and fresh apple slices. It’s fleshy on the palate but maintains freshness with juicy apple and citrus fruit, a pinch of sweetness and a touch of spice and crushed stone minerality.
JoieFarm Muscat 2013 ($23, 88 points) — The Muscat for this estate wine was sourced from the home vineyard planted to two acres of Moscato Giallo (also known as Goldenmuskateller, or yellow Muscat). The nose is exciting with a aromas of white summer flowers, grapefruit, lime and peach fuzz. It has an impression of being perfectly day on the palate despite 12 g/l of residual sugar. The flavours range from fresh lemon and lime to peach notes with mouthwatering acidity.
JoieFarm Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2013 ($23, 88 points) — This was a little tight when I tasted it but still showed apple, pineapple, citrus and mineral notes on the nose. Made in an elegant style with fresh pineapple, apple and citrus zing on the finish.
JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2013 ($24, 91 points) — A Nobel Blend is made in the spirit of Edelzwicker or Gentil, the traditional Germanic-varietal blend from the Alsace region of France. It’s a blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Schoenberger and Muscat. It is, perhaps, one of the most unique whites being in Canada and it’s so JoieFarm, a defining wine. The nose displays lime, nutmeg, orange peel, exotic tropical fruit, lychee and underlying spice notes. It’s round, spicy and textured on the palate with ripe guava, lychee, citrus and spice notes with a lovely honey accent on the finish. Delicious stuff.
JoieFarm Rose 2013 ($21, 90 points) — A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay with aromas of ripe raspberry, herbs, cherry and just a squirt of citrus on the nose. It has lovely, inviting flavours on the palate and just a hint of sweetness, combing red fruits and juicy acidity. A summer pleasure.