Our July pick is the Saignee Rose from Culmina Winery. ‘Saignee’, meaning ‘to bleed’ in French, is a method of making rose wine in which the pink juice is taken from (bled out of) the musts in the production of red wine, instead of discarded (winemakers remove the pink juice in order to increase the tannins and colour of the red wine), and then this juice is fermented separately to make the rose wine. This is opposed to creating rose wine as the primary product (where the grape skins are left on temporarily to get the pink colour). Now that we know what the name means, let’s discuss the name ‘Culmina’! (You didn’t think that just because school’s out for summer that you’re going to evade learning, did you?) Culmina means ‘apex’ or ‘the peak’ in Latin, and the Triggs Family (yes, that Triggs!) chose the name for their winery to represent “not only their lifetime of efforts in the wine industry, but also their desire to coax the highest possible quality grapes from their incredible virgin terroir.” They have one of the highest vineyards in the Okanagan, so ‘Culmina’ was an appropriate name, over and above (pun intended) the nice analogies!
Okay, enough learning, now let’s drink. This rose is a blend of: Merlot (51%), Cabernet Franc (33%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (16%). Here are the tasting notes from Culmina Winery:
“A bright, lively, and characterful saignée-style rosé from select micro-blocks on the Triggs’ family estate. Subtle Herbes de Provences, orange peel, and strawberry aromas coalesce with rich and savoury red fruit flavours to form a wine reminiscent of its bigger Hypothesis sister. FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Select charcuterie cuts of mortadella and capocollo; Tuscan-style chicken-liver crostini; West Coast Bouillabaisse with BC Halibut & Quadra Island clams; pan-seared BC sockeye salmon; Portuguese-style suckling pig grilled and charred fava bean salad; quail with a savoury thyme and strawberry compote.”
We sipped this beautiful dry rose on our patio on a hot evening without food, but it would also be delicious with Culmina’s recommended food pairings above. We do not need an excuse to buy another bottle, but we may need an excuse to make and eat all the recommended food above, so, thanks Culmina!
An added treat from this wine was the glass stopper in lieu of a cork or screw top. We have never seen this before, and had to Google it. One more lesson to share! These glass “corks” eliminate the oxidation and contamination issues that occur with natural and synthetic corks. Apparently, the increased production cost and manual labour required to “cork” the bottles with the glass stoppers are why we don’t see these on wine bottles everywhere. A shame, really, because they are aesthetically beautiful, recyclable, don’t require a cork screw, and best of all, your wine becomes resealable – not that you’ll need to reseal this wine…you won’t have any leftovers!
This post is the Coles Notes version of everything you need to know about Culmina Winery. Check out their website, which has pages and pages of in-depth information about their story, the terroir and the science behind their wine making. The best part is there’s no exam! If you’re too cool for school, then just bypass the pedagogy and buy the wine. Trust us, it’s all pass, no fail when it comes to this wine!