In June 2014 we were in Normandy and spent a day with Emmanuel Camut, one of three Camut brothers and the sixth generation of their family making premium Adrien Camut Calvados on land they’ve owned since the 1800s.
Emmanuel was intrigued by Canadian ice wine and before leaving, we promised to send him a bottle. Selecting a bottle was more challenging than anticipated though – I wanted to find a small lot, family produced product. Nothing by a large, commercial company would do. By August he was the recipient of a bottle of Sperling Riesling ice wine.
Ann Sperling’s family, the Casorsos planted the very first vineyard in Kelowna back in 1925. I hadn’t been to their Kelowna tasting room though until just recently.
The reception and pouring by Ellen and Kim was fun, friendly and knowledgable. It included a 6.4% abv. petillant spritzer (Sper…itz) made from Perle of Csaba and Bacchus grapes, a Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and a Marechal Foch from 55 year old vines.
While they aren’t certified biodynamic, they do follow many of the principles and have been producing about 3,000 cases up until now. With friends at Clos de Soleil about to open up their own production space, Sperling hopes to double its output as sharing is no longer necessary.
There were two wines in particular that stood out for me – the intensely aromatic 2010 Gewürztraminer (all the 2013 was sold to the LCBO) which was all about lychee nuts and tropical fruit and the 2012 Old Vines Riesling.
Made from vines planted in 1978, the Old Vines Riesling has a pale lemon tone with medium aromas of pear, bergamot lime and petrol. The palate is off dry with 17g of RS but balanced by a medium plus acidity so there is no cloying sugar. More Asian pear, lime citrus, clover honey and diesel round out the taste profile and it ends with a medium finish.
WSET Very Good and ready to go with my next order of Thai food or salty appetizers.