An OCULUS was first used by the Romans in buildings like the Pantheon - a window in a dome or wall to the outside. At Mission Hill, our oculus provides the only natural light into our underground barrel cellar, blasted out of volcanic rock that is otherwise hidden from the world. Our complex Oculus Bordeaux-style wine is the result of meticulous selection in the vineyard estate with grapes that have been specifically nurtured for this rare wine.
The 2012 season started well and early Spring conditions were settled with a couple of chilly mornings, but no frost damage. Bud break was nearly on time, but June brought cooler weather with consistent, intermittent rainfall – nearly half of the normal annual precipitation. A warm and dry summer ensured ideal fruit development resulting in slightly reduced workloads in our vineyards. Yields were spot-on and summer pruning (leaf-thinning, etc.) was not as involved as in previous years. Veraison took place under nearly ideal conditions that lasted from mid-August to the end of September. The continuation of mild, sunny autumn weather allowed the grapes to develop thick skins and gave rise to expectations of flavourful, extracted wines. Cabernet and Merlot flavours in particular were well developed at an earlier stage of sugar ripeness than in previous years, allowing us to harvest earlier and setting up the winemaking team to create wines that reflect the personality of the vintage, and of course, Mission Hill.
Fermentation & extended maceration in small French Oak fermenters.
Aged in French oak barrels for 14 months | 76 barrels produced.
Hand harvested from Osoyoos (94%) & Oliver (6%) vineyards in October 2012.
Date: 12 December 2013
2012 Oculus is complex and deep, with great purity and elegance. The key to the vintage was to capture the freshness of the fruit, made possible by the cool autumn nights and the subtle use of new French oak. Rich notes of plum, blackberry, boysenberry, leather and spice notes are supported by a dense structure that adds depth. The harmony between fruit, tannins and acidity should allow this to age beautifully.