Although the 1970s and ‘80s saw Covert fostering nearly two hundred acres of hybrid grapes to yield wines with names such as “White Diamond,” today is a much different story. Gone is the “Okanagan Riesling” in favour of much more exotic (and palatable) white varieties such as Semillon, Viognier, and Roussanne. Thanks to some digging through the cellar by Derek, we had the opportunity to enjoy a four year vertical of the Amicitia White blend following the newest 2014 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon, a fuller-bodied, mineral and citrus presentation of traditional grassy Sauvignon Blanc.
A small percentage of both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is included in the Amicitia but this rare blend is predominantly Rhone whites, with Roussanne unexpectedly leading the way over and above Viognier’s smaller contribution. Although a handful of 2007 and 2009 Amicitia was discovered at the winery, it was terrible in Derek’s honest opinion; but some unlabelled 2008 made it through the years intact. As a result we were able to compare a relatively aged version with the more recent 2012-2014 vintages. Oxidative character was readily apparent in the golden, straw-coloured older wine, with an intensely flavoured, viscous palate present upon tasting. The younger vintages showed Roussanne’s strong influence, presenting stone fruit flavours amongst hints of greenery and even petrol, with a similar generous body.
The Amicitia Red blend further demonstrated the range of grapes grown in just twenty-five acres, this time assembled into a traditional Bordeaux configuration. The 2013 we tasted reflected an increase in Merlot now that the winery produces varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, bringing together a slim majority of Merlot, plus smaller proportions of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. A nicely balanced, fruit forward, and understandably complex medley of juicy fruit was the result; perfect with the selection of Les Amis du Fromage cheeses and charcuterie available on the side.