One of my most favourite, expressive grape varieties grown in British Columbia is Syrah. Perennial favourites include the outings from Nichol Vineyard, Le Vieux Pin, Black Hills Estate Winery, and Moon Curser Vineyards.
I'm really digging that Rust Wine Co.'s zooming in on the variety as of late. I recently got to taste through a quartet of Syrahs they'll be releasing in April, each one grown in a different part of B.C. wine country, and solid expressions of their vineyard provenance.
Also. Can we talk about how STUNNING their South Okanagan home base is?!?
Here are my two faves:
Rust Wine Co. 2019 Syrah – South Rock Vineyard – Golden Mile Bench is pretty on-point for varietal typicity Syrah fans are hoping for. Violets and dark purple fruit on the nose lead to gobs of fresh-picked, still-sun-warmed blackberries on the palate, with a real good helpin' of bacon fat and white pepper laced throughout. It's well-woven; this is decidedly a Syrah with good tannin integration (particularly considering it's right out of the gates), and hardly a big, jammy, clumsy Shiraz.
Rust Wine Co. 2019 Syrah – Lazy River Vineyard – Similkameen Valley is for those wanting that opulent, juicy, stain-your-teeth kinda style but still expect things nice and balanced. More baking spice on the nose with this one (What's up, cinnamon, star anise and cloves?), and plenty of brambly black fruit, On the palate there's suddenly a wave of fresh ginger cresting over it all, then it finishes with a good lashing of sarsaparilla. A cheeky kiss (JUST a kiss) of sweet character on the finish.
Also, bonus points for easy-to-read back labels with a the geeky stuff:
How fun is this?
The folks from British Columbia's Road 13 in Oliver wine country have unleashed a trio of double-wine packs just in time for Valentine's Day, which not only brings the delicious, but some cheeky fun as well.
The 'Love Is Blind' trio offers wine duos that have been (pretty smartly) wrapped so you don't know what each bottle contains. There are three sets: The Perfect Pair, Sea of Red, and the Dynamic Duo, priced at $61, $66, and $117 respectively.
Once you give each of 'em a whirl, you can pull that tab and see what you've got; there's a QR code on the label for those wanting to dig deeper.
So, the one I was sent was pretty fun, but I can't spoil the fun now, can I?
My Dynamic Duo started with a white chock-full of stone fruit like peaches and apricots, with a little squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of honey. The red was VERY peppery with plenty of blueberries and plums. 🤐
Wanna play around? You should. Vancouverites can pick up Love Is Blind wines at Artisan Wines at Lonsdale Quay.
Late last year I had the opportunity to visit the Bordeaux of France (for the first time), and while it was my first wine trip since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would have been just as exciting an experience even if it were yet another trip sandwiched between other international ventures in a normal year. Was I tucking into big hunks of beef drenched in marrow-and-broth-laden Bordelaise sauce, and washing it all down with big, bold reds?
This tour was all about the sweet wines of Bordeaux, and let me tell you - it fascinated. That was mostly because, and I say this as someone coming from the land of Icewine, I'm usually not into sweet stuff; way more of a savoury guy. In saying that, the reason I opted for the venture was because the focus was all about food pairing, from pastry to poultry, from cheese to sushi. It was a head-turning experience, so much so that for this Valentine's Day I'm recommending straying from the sparkling and pink wine clichés, and venturing to the world of sweet Bordeaux.
Here's what you need to know:
Shake it things up a bit and give sweet Bordeaux wines a whirl. Just ask your local wine shop pro for recommendations in the category. The sip away and enjoy having another fun and tasty wine style in your arsenal.