Culmina Hypothesis 2011
Here’s a wine we figured would be worth waiting for, and we weren’t disappointed, as it more than lived up to our expectations. This is the inaugural release from just opened Culmina Family Estate, the project undertaken by Don Triggs, his wife Elaine and their daughter Sara Triggs. If you recognise the name you’re right. That’s Triggs, as in Jackson Triggs, and it was Don Triggs who piloted Canada’s Vincor to be one of the world’s most successful wine companies, before it was swallowed up by Constellation. After that, lucky for us, the Triggs family landed in the Okanagan Valley.
(Don and Elaine Triggs sold their Niagara Delaine Estate to Constellation as part of the deal. It produced—and still does—excellent Riesling and Chardonnay, among others…)
I tasted this wine over a couple of days and was truly impressed with the way it developed and retained its structure. The blend of Cabernet Franc (40%), Merlot (36%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (24%) was made by former Osoyoos Larose winemaker Pascal Madevon, who knows a thing or two about Bordeaux style blends. The nose has some cassis and dusty hints, followed by a full bodied palate of red and black fruit, leather notes with layers of spice and minerality, wrapped in juicy acidity. $48, from the winery. 91 pts. Food pairing? Serious roast beef territory. You can drink it now (it will shine in a decent glass) or put it down for quite a few years…
This is a definite sign of great things to come from what I suspect will emerge as one of the valley’s hallmark wineries.
I’m looking forward to tasting the Chardonnay and rosé when I visit in a couple of weeks. Not to mention (next year) the Okanagan’s first Gruner Veltliner—and Riesling, from one of the highest vineyards in the valley.