RHW
Introducing Little Engine Wines

2017-09-25

It was a very proud moment for us in the summer of 2016 when we first tasted the wines of Little Engine from Naramata, British Columbia. Our friend of more than 15 years sat at the tasting table in our store and walked us through his lineup from the first vintage of his new winery that had been over 5 years in the making. Steven French and his wife Nicole had been customers of RHW for as long as we can remember, and in 2011 they purchased their first vineyard site and began the process of moving their family and building a winery that would become Little Engine.

Throughout the years of developing the winery, Steven kept in contact with us and we offered insights where we could. Steven's obsessive dedication to quality was apparent, and we knew he was producing something worth being a part of. Little Engine is located at the southern entrance of the Naramata Bench, with premium exposure and ideal soil composition. The team of Scott Robinson (winemaker) and Matt Rademakers (viticulturist) are focused on promoting healthy vineyards through the use of organic and sustainable farming methods, and the results echo Steven and Nicole's dedication to quality.

Little Engine opened their tasting room in the Summer of 2016, and they are an excellent place to visit the next time you find yourself in the Okanagan Valley. When we first tried the wines of Little Engine, we were immediately reminded of our favourite Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley of California, but with a distinct Canadian identity. The wines are among the best that we have tasted from British Columbia, and we are thrilled to partner with Steven and Nicole in introducing these wines to the Alberta market.

Purchase Little Engine Wines Online for pickup or delivery
2016 Sauvignon Blanc $37
Pale straw with brilliant clarity, our Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with intense tropical aromatics of pineapple sage, gooseberry and guava. The palate is zesty with mouth-watering acidity that rounds out into a lingering finish with nuances of slight chalky minerality.
2015 Silver Chardonnay $37
This vintage exhibits enticing aromatics of stone fruits and poached pear with underlying notes of vanilla and creamy cashews. With only a portion of the pressed juices seeing French oak, the palate is bright with citrus notes and fresh cut pineapple that slowly unveils characteristics of buttered toast with a thin layer of marmalade.
2015 Platinum Chardonnay $79.95
100% barrel fermented in French oak using a variety of yeasts. It is aged on lees for 16 months and stirred regularly to build texture and a rich mouthfeel. The Platinum Chardonnay beckons with complex notes of butterscotch and pear before opening up to crème brûlée, baking spices and fresh baked brioche.

83 cases produced. (limited quantities available)
2015 Silver Pinot Noir $59
This ruby coloured wine heralds Spring with characteristics of a fresh baked strawberry rhubarb pie, Rainier cherries and a hint of Rooibos tea leaves. A pleasingly textured palate with firm acidity that is equally wonderful on its own or with a charcuterie platter.
2015 Gold Pinot Noir $65
Where the Silver Pinot Noir embodies spring, the full-bodied Gold Pinot Noir speaks to the comforts of autumn with its deeper ruby colour, layered notes of blackberry preserves, truffles, herbs de Provence and tilled earth. The palate shows a concentration of these flavours balanced by rounded tannins and a perfect amount of acidity.
2014 Silver Merlot $42
Enticingly deep ruby in colour, this Merlot is wonderfully complex with notes of cherry and raspberry, mingled with well-integrated French oak. The savoury spice characters resulting from 15 months of barrel-aging, warm the palate. The mouthfeel is plush and smooth, yet exhibits the structure of ripe Merlot from a favourable vintage.
2015 Gold Merlot $65
A luscious and bold wine that is not to be taken lightly. Inviting notes of cassis, tobacco leaf and sarsaparilla lead to a plush and complex palate. Wood spices and vanilla bean that allude to the well-integrated French oak. The persistent finish will leave you simultaneously satiated, yet wanting more.
2015 Platinum Merlot $75
Charming and elegant, this wine offers layered notes of raspberry compote infused with warm spices, licorice and pipe tobacco. The palate is well-structured, yet supple with fine grained tannins highlighting the seductive and sweet bouquet of cigar box, saddle leather and spiced chocolate.