2012 Syrah Cuvee Violette
After three atypical vintages in a row, 2012 is a return to a more typical growing season in the South Okanagan Valley. After an initial scare of unusually high record rainfall in late spring the remainder of the growing season was an absolute dream come true. Mid July till late fall gave us very hot days combined with typical cold desert nights. Growing degree days for the South Okanagan were above average and certainly much higher than 2010 and 2011. One of the hallmarks of this vintage was extremely uniformly ripe and clean grapes with minimal need for sorting (quite the opposite of 2008 and 2010). The resulting wines are more fruit forward with round structure thanks to plenty of sunshine and heat units; the cool nights resulted in excellent, piercing aromatics and bright acidity in the wine.
Cuvee Violette, as the name suggests, displays the perfumed and floral side of this noble grape variety. The palate is silky smooth thanks to a gentle ferment with focus on allowing the feminine and graceful qualities of Syrah to come to the foreground. While 2012 is overall a vin de garde vintage , this wine is meant for drinking upon release or can be aged for the mid term (5-7 years). It will most likely continue to improve past that age too.
Crispy-Skin Duck Breast with a Lavender Honey Gastrique or Steak Dianne with a Flambe of Crème de Violette and Cassis Moutarde is a match made in heaven as well.
Hearty, earthy and lightly herbal food with this one. Lentil Walnut Meatloaf with Burnt Onion Jus is definitely a winner.
Intense deep red color. Green pepper notes on the nose with herbs, olives and blackcurrant. Beautiful mouth, slightly herbaceous with a tapenade and red berries profile. Nice tannins, light oak and very good length. A wine full of elegance and finesse.
This Syrah was co-fermented with a few percent of Viognier, a classic technique that fixes the colour and adds a lightly floral note to the aroma. This wine is softer and juicier than its big brother, with flavours of cherry and blackberry. The wine was aged 14 months in French oak (19% new).
Feminine, stylish, spicy. A generous marriage of old and new world styles, this South Okanagan grown Syrah reinforces my excitement over Syrah in BC. It is co-fermented with a dash of Viognier then aged 14 months in French oak, only 19% new.
The aromas are blackberry jam, Turkish coffee, crushed violets, finely ground white pepper, vanilla and cocoa atop savoury tones. The palate leads with sweet berry fruit before rolling into peppery spice rub, smoked meat and cedar. Impressive balance and length – a wine to awake the senses and incite discussion.
Pair: aged goat cheese, game meats, cassoulet, roast lamb and rich cheese fondue.
The winery suggests aging for 5-7 years.
Silver Medalist NWAC
My first blind tasting scribbles: violet, bramble, crystalline. Gorgeous feminine nose is violet-steeped and plush with deep dark fruit, fragrant oak spice and a meaty note. Crisp acidity drives the palate, giving a distinct cool-fruit litheness to a tight, intense palate. Polished tannins carry oak sweetness extending a stylish finish.
[2012 Syrah Cuvee] Violette is a high quality, entry level syrah that is co-fermented with two or three percent of viognier. A warm summer and cool night have yield a tasty syrah with peppery, meaty black fruit, poultry spice and black cherry flavours. Sleek and smooth you can sip this now or let it age two to three years in bottle. The winery suggest steak Dianne with a flambé of crème de violette and cassis moutarde. A beef and tomato pasta dish is an equal match. The fruit is grown in North Oliver, Deadman Lake and Black Sage Bench from seven to 16-year old vines. It spends some 14 months in varying sized French oak barrels (225l, 400 and 500L) of which 19 percent is new.
Violette is a high quality, entry-level syrah that is co-fermented with 2-3 per cent of viognier. A warm summer and cool nights have yielded a tasty syrah with pepper, meaty black fruit, poultry spice and black cherry flavours. Sleek and smooth, you can sip this now or let it age 2-3 years in bottle. The winery suggests steak Dianne with a flambé of crème de violette and cassis moutarde.
This elegant wine is being released later this year. Dark in colour, it has classic notes of white pepper in the aroma and on the palate, along with a concentrated core of raspberry and blackberry flavours, all of it in an earthy frame on the finish.