If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Canadian. Yes, I sport the red and white and the maple leaf with great passion. I wear a touque in the winter. I have the television on 24/7 during the Olympic Games watching for a medal of any colour to appear in favour of the Maple Leaf. I’m proud to be a Canadian, and I love my country. The wine that’s made here though? Well…that is still yet to be determined….
I’ve written about the import battles of wine from province to province, and also how it’s somewhat degradable that we pay so much money for wine that is, for all intents and purposes, made in our own “Backyard”. It’s really not fair. The quality is something to be desired as well. Well made wines from Canada are hidden gems…you have to go searching for them, and when you find them (usually at the wineries themselves), pick up a case, because you may not be able to get something that good for that price later on in any part of the country.
I bought a Canadian Wine from the local store here the other day because I had tasted it at the Food and Wine Festival this past fall. The taste I had was decent, and I was pleasantly surprised, so when I saw the bottle last week, I decided to pick it up. I still paid way too much for it, even though it was on sale. Can I tell you how underwhelming and overpriced this wine was? Especially given the quality in my glass? (I won’t tell you what it was…I wouldn’t want to tarnish anyone else’s opinion) First of all, it was nothing like what I tasted the first time around, or at least not that I remember. This sweet, blended, fruit juice, and I hesitate to use the word wine even, was quite simply…crap. Again? Sigh…
I decided to go back to the stash from my summer trip to the vineyards in British Columbia, I pulled out the Laughing Stock Syrah, desperately hoping for great things. I’m pleased to report….that I was not disappointed! A small vineyard/winery located in the desirable Naramata Bench area in southern British Columbia, their bottles have ticker prices from world stock markets on them. I guess to remember where the owners came from…a serious background in the financial and stock market industry. But more than 10 years ago, they left it all behind to purchase some land and some vines, and pursue the journey to making great wine(s). But not forgetting about their roots, they play homage to the stock market on all of the bottles. Winemaker (& owner) David Enns, started the wine making in his garage, and to this day, that’s where he still makes it! And quite humble he is. Easy to talk to and very unpretentious, he just wants to make some good wine, and he does…he really does.
David desires to make all of his wines in the French styling, and the Syrah is no exception. Inspired by the wines of Cote-Rotie, the 94% Syrah is blended with a little 6% Viognier to soften it up. Dark purple in colour, the nose was full of chocolate, black plums, and a hint of pencil shavings and cloves. The black plums, chocolate and spice continued in my mouth with just a hint of smoke also. Really a lot going on in this wine, which really impressed me. This Syrah was nicely balanced with smooth tannins. A real winner, and for me…a gold medal! Cheers!