What’s in a Name? If it’s a wine labeled Narrative, it’s bound to tell a story. But let’s allow the wine to speak for itself. Narrative is part of an exciting experiment called the Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland overlooking Okanagan Lake. Except this is a story you can’t hear because it’s a wine. So you’ll have to use your other senses to learn the story.
I recently had the pleasure to sample four of Narrative’s wines. Although they were made from different grapes, they all shared several characteristics. First, the aroma was a blend of fresh fruit such as apples and pears as well as the herbs such as sage and thyme that grow in the Okanagan Valley.
Secondly, the flavours are of ripe fruit that the Okanagan grows so well. And there’s the crisp acidity in the wine, especially with the whites, due to our northern location. Acidity is the life force or the nervous system of a wine, that gives a wine life, allows it to age, and encourages your appetite while you sip it.
Furthermore, there’s minerality due to the terroir of the vineyards and the fermentation in concrete eggs. Finally, the wines are organic or biodynamic, and fermented with indigenous wild yeasts rather than laboratory ones. This philosophy of “less is more” means artificial pesticides or herbicides are not in the wine. And the soil and the flora and fauna in the vineyard are free of industrial additives. Which means clean and fresh-tasting wine with a silky texture and a healthier environment.
Now it’s time to flesh out more details of our Narrative narrative:
Narrative 2019 Pinot Blanc ($22.90): Citrus and melon with honeysuckle and herbs on the nose. Pear, lemon, and apple flavour with honeydew, thyme and plenty of minerality. This is a medium bodied wine that’s often called the poor man’s Chardonnay. It’s light, refreshing, fruity, slightly complex and great to sip while you wait for your vaccine or for gardening and barbecue season to begin. Serve with sole meunière, pink salmon fish cakes, or brie cheese.
Narrative 2019 Chenin Blanc ($24.90): This wine demands your attention! Citrus and floral aroma. On the palate enjoy the lime and ripe apple with some savoury flavour with the hallmark Chenin Blanc acidity. It has a slightly oily or viscous body that adds interest as well as a very bone-dry minerality. It’s as if you licked a rock! Very tasty with Swiss Gruyère, Vietnamese Cuisine, or Scallops in a Rogan Josh Curry Sauce.
Narrative 2019 Rosé ($19.90) This has a beautiful pink orange colour that makes rosés so beautiful to behold! The aroma displays floral notes and red berries. Taste it and you will enjoy the strawberry and tropical fruit along with herbs and the concrete terroir minerality that brings a textured mouth feel. Bone dry which will wet your appetite. Think Nicoise Salad, veggie skewers on the barbecue or the 25 suggestions here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/lindsayhunt/a-rose-by-any-name-would-taste-as-sweet
Narrative 2019 Red ($20.18) A blend of Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc, the parent grape of Merlot. The grapes are sourced from vineyards in Summerland and Osoyoos. Ruby red in colour, its bouquet offers red fruit and herb aromas. On the palate, there’s plums, raspberries, and black cherries with dried sage, minerals, subtle tannins, and a charming black cherry finish.
The Cab Franc adds more juicy acidity that matches with tomato-based dishes like wild boar ragu or vinegar-based sauces that work with a smokey barbecue. The Merlot component pairs with roasted mushrooms or braised short ribs served Argentine style with chimichurri sauce, either the popular green version or the spicy red version.
Narrative wines are available at Richmond’s VQA wine store at Save-On Foods other private liquor stores, and from the winery: https://okanagancrushpad.com/online-store/#narrative