At 17: Ode to a Lang Icewine

In light of the recent activities at Holman-Lang, my thoughts turned to the past when I was recently treated to a taste of the golden age of Naramata’s Lang Vineyards. And let me tell you, it was absolutely golden in every way.

I don’t usually do tasting notes here because I find them pretty boring to read. But this one merits a little note because it was a 1993 Riesling Icewine and it was unbelievable. It looked like amber and tasted like gold. Almonds, hazelnuts, honey, earthy minerals and dried apricots on the nose with Granny-Smith apple pie, peaches and more apricots on the palate. It still had a vibrant acidity and was expertly balanced – not too sweet, not too tangy – it was just right.

To be honest, icewine is something that I rarely take time to enjoy. The huge volume of sugar just overloads me and I just don’t feel very good after drinking icewine. There are a few recently that I’ve found that I enjoy but I’ll mostly bring them out at parties, have a tiny sip for myself and watch everyone else enjoy themselves. But this one was different. At 17 years old, this Riesling icewine had entered the prime of its life and it was the perfect time to taste it and reflect on one of BC’s pioneering wineries. I couldn’t let that opportunity pass me by.

Whatever the future holds for Lang and the rest of the wineries in the Holman-Lang group, I’m glad I had the chance to enjoy a truly great wine from a time when BC wine was just starting to build its reputation into what it is today. Cheers to the pioneers of BC wine!