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Day 7 – Unsanctioned Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Day 4 for the 6-Bottle Wine Advent Calendar

Happy Saturday, and welcome to Day 7!

Today we present the second new release in our red wine lineup: the 2021 Unsanctioned Series Cabernet Sauvignon. What does it take to make it into our Unsanctioned Series? Great question! These are special wines – wines that we don’t make every vintage. The story of how each Unsanctioned wine comes to be is unique, but there is always a common thread: there is something unique that deserves to be bottled and showcased.

There is a saying that I’ve heard many times throughout my life, in different environments, that goes something like this: true greatness comes along the edge of failure. How does this relate to making wine? All you have to do is look at a map to see where we are situated in the Okanagan Valley. As beautiful and amazing as this place is, we are at the edge of what’s possible in terms of making world class wines. Mother Nature has reminded us of that over the past few years. But it’s precisely this facet that makes our wines here so special. In some vintages we need the stars to align to ensure full and proper ripeness of the grapes. This happens consistently for some varieties in some locations, but can be more challenging for others. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those “challenging” varieties. It needs heat, sunshine, the right slope and aspect, but most importantly, it needs hangtime, and lots of it!

The 2021 vintage was challenging for a number of reasons. We had a bit of a late spring, the dreaded heat dome as we launched into summer, and then the devastating wildfires (that now pale in comparison to 2023). When you add it all up, it’s far from what most would consider an ideal vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon. And that’s precisely why we wanted to showcase this wine. Despite all odds, we ended up with beautifully ripe grapes, and after resting peacefully in barrel for 2 years, we chose three specific barrels to make this wine: one brand new French oak barrel, one 2nd fill French oak barrel, and one neutral (old) barrel. Each of these barrels was a distinctive wine on its own, but once we blended these three Cabernet Sauvignon barrels together, it was magic.

We hope you enjoy this wine. Scroll down to see tasting notes and some of the wine specs, followed by today’s food pairing suggestion: Red wine braised short ribs. This dish, while simple to prepare, requires an investment of time. We think you’ll find that it’s worth it!

Wine Profile

Winemaker Notes
This is a wine that only gets bottled in great vintages, and only in extremely limited quantities.  The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine come from an elevated vineyard in the Golden Mile sub-GI of the Okanagan Valley.  Aged for 24 months in three French oak barrels: one new, one 2nd fill, and one neutral. Only 75 cases produced.

Tasting Notes
Fruit aromas of black cherry, blueberry, and cassis followed by a hint of cedar. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and full-bodied with bright acidity, silky tannins and an extremely long finish. On the palate, the entry is juicy and bright with flavours of blackberry, cherry, currant with savoury notes of espresso and tobacco leaf. There is a hint of salinity on the finish. This is a wine with complexity and layers that is drinking beautifully right now.

Food Pairings
Although this wine is totally enjoyable on its own, it would pair great with rich dishes such as roast beef, braised lamb shanks, and grilled ribeye steaks.

Wine Specs

Vintage 2021
Appellation Okanagan Valley
Vineyards Oliver
Acid 6.3 g/L
pH 3.9
Residual Sugar 1.6 g/L
Alcohol % 13.3
Production: 75 cases