Day 2 – Syrah 2020
The Perfect Grape?
Day 2 is exciting for us because we are showcasing one of our newest releases: Syrah 2020. For those of you who’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know that Syrah is a grape I’m incredibly passionate about. The past couple of vintages, specifically 2017 and 2018, were a bit milder than what would be considered “normal” for the south Okanagan, which allowed me to craft elegant wines that showcase how pretty a lighter style of Syrah can be…particularly when co-fermented with Viognier. Well, 2020 was a warmer vintage and the resulting wine is perhaps a bit more typical of what you would expect from Syrah. There is still an elegance to this wine, but given that the 2020 is 100% Syrah, it is definitely showing more power, body and concentration.
I’m a firm believer in the potential for South Okanagan Syrah to become one of the finest examples of the grape in the world. That’s a bold statement, but I think it’s true. We share a lot in common with one of the most famous regions that specialize in this grape: the Northern Rhone Valley in France. When you look at averages, we are very close in terms of temperatures, growing degree days, etc. But when you dig deeper into the details of those metrics, you start to see exactly what it is about our meso-climate that makes our Syrah (and many other varietals) so distinctive. Due to our latitude, we have a very short but intense growing season. Our daytime temperatures in places like Osoyoos often reach into the high 30’s and low 40’s, and when combined with our many hours of daylight during the summer months, help to fully ripen this grape. But it’s the cool nights that really define the resulting style of Syrah: a vibrancy and sense of freshness from great acidity. Other climates that achieve the same type of heat, but that don’t cool down at night, often produce wines that are jammy and flabby.
Our 2020 vintage, which is 100% Syrah, is more masculine in style. The grapes were harvested on October 23rd. After de-stemming and a light crushing, half of the grapes were loaded into new custom 500L French oak puncheons, with the other half in small open-top bins for fermentation. The wine spent 21 months in 35% new French and American oak barrels.
Full-bodied, muscular, concentrated and bold. Floral aromas of violets, with fruit notes of blueberry jam and red cherry, followed by hints of smokey bacon. On the palate, it’s cherry, spice and everything nice! Bright flavours of cassis, dark cherry and blueberry dominate the entry. The mid-palate brings freshness with a good dose of herbs, followed by vanilla, espresso and baking spices on the long finish. This is a wine that is approachable now, but with good cellaring potential.
For cheeses, go with firm and aged to match the earthiness and sharpness of the wine. For meats, roasted game, smoked baby back ribs, or even a pumpkin-spiced lamb burger. If veggies are your thing, then you can’t go wrong with simple mushrooms on toast.
Appellation Okanagan Valley VQA
Acid 6.6 g/L
Residual Sugar 2.7 g/L
Alcohol % 14.2
Production: 136 cases