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2016 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  Platinum Medal

Tasted blind by a Panel of wine critics spanning Canada’s coast to coast. Platinum Medal Winner

Wine Align National Wine Awards  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: July 2018

2016 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  92 points

Open, and heavily violet – perfumed off the top, clean, and inviting, full of crunchy black fruit and pepper. The palate is fleshy and dense, with great length.

John Szabo (MS)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: July 2018

92 points

From the third warmest year in BC history this is quite finely-chiseled and elegant for its size and depth. Expect fairly lifted, cedary, licorice, vanillin, black pepper, dark cherry and chocolaty aromas. It is full bodied to be sure, but quite elegant as well, which creates a lighter ambiance. The firm tannins tend to tone down the fruit on the finish. In short it is not really showy at the moment, so I would wait another two or three years. Excellent length.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: June 2018

2016 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  93 points

Cuvee Violette is the least expensive, and less grand of Severine Pinte’s stellar syrahs, but there is an edge and vibrancy I really like. And make no mistake – the aromas and flavours are authentic and appealing northern Rhone. Expect lifted violet, black cherry/currant fruit, pepper, smoked meat, oak vanillin and spice. So complex and expansive on the palate – full bodied, dense and dripping with black fruit, licorice and pepper. Yet there is firmness and some tannin as well. The length is excellent. Best now to 2025.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: June 2018

2014 Equinoxe Syrah  |  93 points

56% new oak here, but the wine swallows it well. Lush, fresh, floral black cherry fruit with some olive tapenade and some peppery notes. Has ripness but also some muscle, as well as some oak. This should age really well. Impressive, although the oak sticks out a tiny bit. Superb, given a bit more time.

Jamie Goode  |  Wine Anorak  |  Tasted: June 2018

2010 Équinoxe Syrah  |  16.5+/20

basil and bay note and a sour, taut black fruit on the finish. It’s a formidable, powerful style but it really works, and still has loads of compact fruit – this is a wine to age for decades. (RH)Drink 2020-2040

richard Hemming (MW)  |  jancis robinson  |  Tasted: 2017

2011 Syrah  |  17-20

Tar, granite and pepper on the nose – very traditional Syrah with a European sensibility. Very savoury and spicy on the palate – this is real Rhône-inspired wine, with excellent violet and spice on the long finish. (RH)12.7% Drink 2014-2021

 

Richard Hemming (MW)  |  Jancis Robinson  |  Tasted: 2017

2016 Vaïla Rosé  |  90 Points

A pretty dress tinged with a salmon color. A fresh nose with an average intensity of notes of rhubarb, pink grapefruit, orange peel and a pleasant tip of salinity that repeats in the mouth. Slightly rustic, but gives a lot of happiness to the aperitif or with a smoked salmon bagel.

Michelle Bouffarde

2016 ‘Ava’  |  90 Points

Un assemblage style Rhône composé de viognier (50%), roussanne (32%) et marsanne (18%). Distinctement viognier avec des parfums de pêche, miel, rose, poivre blanc et gingembre. Une bonne acidité en bouche mais aussi une texture ample avec une longue finale.

Sara d'Amato  |  Tasted: Juin 2017

2016 ‘Ava’  |  90 Points

My blind notes start like this: Gorgeous nose! All grapes show! Bodacious. A blend of marsanne, roussanne, and viognier with classic aromas of peaches, beeswax and apricot. The palate is a complex arrangement of stonefruit, honey and pungent, sticky herbs. A nuance of new oak shows on the creamy spicy finish. Give plenty of air and a huge glass now, or save for a few years. Very special wine.

DJ Kearney  |  Tasted: June 2017

2016 ‘Ava’  |  91 Points

Le Vieux Pin is, in my view, the leading “Rhone varieties” producer in the Canada. Two vintages ago this named Gold Medal Plates Wine of the Year, and the 2016 follows nicely. It is a blend of 50% viognier, 35% roussanne and 15% marsanne displaying very refined, clean nose of mirabel plum, starfruit, apricot, jasmin, pepper and anise. Just a touch herbal as well. It is full bodied, rich, leaner and a bit less blowsy than some. Some heat here on the finish, but some minerality as well.

David Lawrason  |  Tasted: June 2017

93 Points

Equinoxe takes its cue from the astronomical equinox “the only times when the edge between night and day is perpendicular to the equator and as a result, the northern and southern hemispheres are equally illuminated.” At Le Vieux Pin winemaker Severine Pinte says her Équinoxe is about equal day, equal night. Equal heat of the day, equal cold of the night. Equal New World, equal Old World. I say it’s Next World. This is a blockbuster syrah with fruit taken from various sub-appellations in the South Okanagan Valley: the Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos West Bench, East Bench and Lake District. If anything, it’s a bit richer than the 2013 and most certainly one of the best in the valley. Equinox is a balance of power and elegance, perfectly aged in 56 percent new French oak barrels and puncheons and 44 percent used barrels. Ripe but savoury, floral, black cherry and tobacco mark the nose while the palate is a mix of blueberries and fine-grained tannins. Roasted leg of lamb is the perfect match.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Tasted: May 2017

2014 Equinoxe Syrah  |  92 Points

Le Vieux Pin’s 2014 top end syrah “Equinox”, aged in barrel, half new, is a serious and brooding, dark and dense expression from this warm southern Okanagan vintage (1/4 from the Black Sage Bench and 3/4 from Osoyoos). It offers thick blueberry and blackberry extract on the palate, pine resin and cracked black pepper spice, smoked meat and violet essence, while tannins are plush and very ripe and acids balanced enough to keep the ensemble buoyant and lively. Wood is not a significant flavour influence but it’s still tightly wound and far from its maximum expression to be sure, so be sure to tuck in the cellar for another 2-3 years, or hold into the mid-late twenties without a stretch. A serious BC syrah all in all, which would be comfortable on the table alongside any top level (more restrained) South Australian or Californian examples.

John Szabo, MS  |  Tasted: August 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  90 Points

Cuvée Violette is always about its florals and often that means violets. The wine is a selection of like-minded fruit that is smooth and ready to drink. It’s co-fermented with 1 percent Roussanne to add some texture and freshness. Winemaker Severine Pinte calls it LVP’a feminine/graceful syrah, referring to it as “a syrah for pinot noir lovers.” I like the gentle collision of floral roasted meats and cracked pepper with earthy, savoury blackberry fruit. You can drink this now with grilled meats or give three to five more years in bottle to reach its zenith. Impressive without overpowering the drinker.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Tasted: May 12, 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  90 Points

Aucune surprise ici. Un vin qui se démarque encore une fois et pour de bonnes raisons. Notes typiquement associées à la syrah de la vallée de l’Okanagan lorsqu’elle atteint son apogée. Un nez séducteur avec des arômes de violettes, myrtille, poivre blanc et une touche de notes sanguines. Tout en fraîcheur avec des tannins fermes mais intégrés. Mets l’eau à la bouche. Parfait pour le gibier.

Michelle Bouffarde

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  90 Points

This syrah impresses year after year. Although it’s not the “top” (most expensive) syrah cuvée from Le Vieux Pin, it tends to be my favourite for its beguiling floral perfume, juicy-fresh-sweet blackberry flavour and herbal twang. The 2015 shows solid freshness equalled by ripeness, silky-refined tannins and solid length. A winning style to be sure.

John Szabo, MS  |  Tasted: April 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  91 Points

This is a lovely BC syrah made very much in a Rhone style with ripe dark fruit, dried smoked meat, pepper, capers and some minerality. It pours deep dark purple-black. It’s quite full bodied, fairly firm but not austere, with excellent length. Great syrah character.

David Lawrason  |  Tasted: May 2017

2014 Equinoxe Syrah  |  93 points

At le Vieux Pin winemaker Severine Pinte says her Équinoxe is about equal day, equal night. Equal heat of the day, equal cold of the night. Equal New World, equal Old World. I say it’s Next World. This is a blockbuster syrah with fruit taken from various sub-appellations in the South Okanagan Valley: the Black Sage Bench and Osoyoos West Bench, East Bench and Lake District. If anything, it’s a bit richer than the 2013 and most certainly one of the best in the valley. Equinox is a balance of power and elegance, perfectly aged in 56 percent new French oak barrels and puncheons and 44 percent used barrels. Ripe but savoury, floral, black cherry and tobacco mark the nose while the palate is a mix of blueberries and fine-grained tannins. Roasted leg of lamb is the perfect match.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Gismondi On Wine  |  Tasted: May 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  90 points

Cuvée Violette is always about its florals and often that means violets. The wine is a selection of like minded fruit that is smooth and ready to drink. It’s co-fermented with 1 percent roussanne to add some texture and freshness. Winemaker Severine Pinte calls it LVP’a feminine/graceful syrah, referring to it as “a syrah for pinot noir lovers.” I like the gentle collision of floral roasted meats and cracked pepper with earthy, savoury blackberry fruit. You can drink this now with grilled meats or give three to five more years in bottle to reach its zenith. Impressive without overpowering the drinker.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Gismondi on Wine  |  Tasted: May 2017

2014 Equinoxe Syrah  |  91 points

Following up on the steps of the highly praised 2013 vintage, the 2014 Équinoxe Syrah does not disappoint. It’s layered, powerful without going overboard, showing beautiful dark fruit and lots of savoury and spicy notes. My only disappointment is that I had to drink it so early: highly cellar-worthy.

Remy Charest  |  Winecase.ca  |  Tasted: April 2017

2014 Equinoxe Syrah  |  94 points

This has a ripe, gorgeous nose of ripe blueberry/black cherry fruit coddled with fine French oak spice, pepper and underlying herbs and smoked meat. It has fine fragrance indeed. It is full bodied, fairly dense, creamy and warm with fine, firm tannin, and minerality on the drying finish. The length is excellent to outstanding. Try a bottle now then cellar the rest. Best 2019 to 2026.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette

This is a lovely fresh pure syrah with lively aromas of blackberry and blueberry fruit with red grapefruit, basil and hints of black pepper. It is midweight and juicy with soft acidity and fine tannin. Very good to excellent length. Try with roast lamb.

Steve Thurlow  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  91 points

This syrah impresses year after year. Although it’s not the “top” (most expensive) syrah cuvée from Le Vieux Pin, it tends to be my favourite for its beguiling floral perfume, juicy-fresh-sweet black berry flavour and herbal twang. The 2015 shows solid freshness equalled by ripeness, silky-refined tannins and solid length. A winning style to be sure.

John Szabo (MS)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  91 points

This is a lovely BC syrah made very much in a Rhone style with ripe dark fruit, dried smoked meat, pepper, capers and some minerality. It pours deep dark purple black. It’s quite full bodied, fairly firm but not austere, with excellent length. Great syrah character.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: May 2017

2015 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  92 points

Cuvée Violette is composed of the same intensely floral-aromatic syrah and same scant one per cent roussanne folded in from three locales; Black Sage Bench, Osoyoos Lake District and Golden Mile Bench. Time in barrel (14 months) is consistent with previous incarnations but the number of new oak is down to eight per cent (from 15) in 2015. The floral component is lifted, elevated and prettier than before, more energy abounds from and then bounds off the palate. This is seamless juice with a braised pork belly note perfumed by exotica and even a slight bit of rubbery reduction. Though there is great tang and spice to taste it dissipates and leaves just fruit behind, namely umeboshi plum, followed by a finish of salt brine and a long, fine line. Drink 2018-2022.

Michael Godel  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2016 Vaïla Rosé  |  90 points

This is a superb bone dry, purpose grown and pressed pinot noir rosé. It has the generous crunchy red fruit pf the Okanagan Valley and its signature ripeness and richness, grafted on a medium-full bodied frame – 13.5% alcohol declared – more southern Rhone than Provence in weight. Lots of pleasure here. Drink or hold a year or even more; no rush here. Tasted April 2017.

John Szabo (MS)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2016 Vaïla Rosé  |  90 points

This is 100% pinot noir rose. It has a bright, moderately deep, orange-pink colour. The nose shows pretty, quite youthful somewhat reductive aromas of sour cherry jam, herbs and struck flint. It’s mid-weight, quite intense and very dry, with intense flavours and very good length. A touch of youthful CO2 on the palate as well Some bitter cranberry-redcurrant fruit on the finish. Tart and juicy. Best latter half of 2017 through 2019. Tasted April 2017

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: April 2017

2014 Syrah Cuvée Classique

Since the grill is hot, you can put on the marinated pork shoulder chops, a little lower heat and slower cooking, and proceed to Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique for some seriously rich, dark red berry fruits, tobacco, chocolate, a hint of violet. Unbelievably long finish, and meant for slow sipping over a long dinner.

Jim Tobler  |  Montecristo Magazine  |  Tasted: Spring 2016

2014 Syrah Cuvée Classique  |  93 points

This is a very deep, ripe, classic south Okanagan syrah with real Rhonish, or south of France character. Expect a huge ripe dark cherry, peppery, licorice and violet nose. It is rich, firm and notably mineral and spicy on the palate – drop dead gorgeous. Lovely in-filled and elegant texture. Excellent to outstanding length. This will age well ten years if you can keep your hands off.

David Lawrason  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: Feb 2016

2015 ‘Ava’

The warmth of 2015 was not easy on this blend of viognier, marsanne and roussanne but the winemaking adjustment was made and so the approach simplifies things a bit, which is nice. Viognier without too much weight or alcohol, good floral support from roussanne and a spot or two of benevolent encouraging marsanne. The airy aromatic freshness of an early morning spring glade glides with lemon drop into honeyed lemon flavour. Could put away a glass of this when days are cold and when days are hot. Drink 2016-2019.

Michael Godel  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: June 2016

2013 Equinoxe Syrah  |  93 points

One of the best Syrahs from a Canadian vineyard I’ve tasted. Dense purple in colour with a savoury-herbal nose of black fruits and a smoky note; full-bodied, dry and fruity on the palate with lively acidity. Beautifully balanced with savoury blackberry and dark chocolate flavours enhanced by a floral note. Fresh finish.

Tony Aspler  |  Decanter magazine  |  Tasted: Fall 2016

2013 Equinoxe Syrah  |  91 points

Ample and heady perfumed violets lead off this peppery and complexed syrah, the premium syrah bottling from LVP. Savoury roasted meats, cured meats, cassis, bright wild blueberry, sultry baking spices and thorns fill the structured, lush palate, one built on 18 months in French oak (mix of second fill and neutral) and framed with taut tannins. Potent and alluring tobacco and mixed peppercorns throughout, from start to lengthy finish. Unfined and unfiltered. Pretty and pretty drinkable now with a decant and rack of lamb, but its best years are ahead yet.

Treve Ring  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: Sept 2016

2013 Equinoxe Syrah  |  91 points

A truly serious, deep, full-bodied, intense syrah that could give many of its Northern Rhône equivalents a run for their money. The texture is silky and full, showing ripeness that was well-managed, and there is great length and balance, too. Between the lovely black fruit and the layers of pepper and spice, the aromas are generous as well, with a good amount of complexity. Drinkable now, worth following for several years.

Remy Charest  |  Palate Press  |  Tasted: July 2016

2013 Equinoxe Syrah  |  92 Points

This is absolutely fantastic BC Syrah. This is an example that shows where BC can be as good as anywhere in the world with Syrah. The nose is intense and complex and ticks so many boxes of what you are looking for in moderate climate Syrah. Blueberry, floral, baking spices and so much more that due to its complexity is hard to describe. The palate is silky, smooth, round and ripe with a lovely balance of crisp acidity, ripe, round tannins and a fantastic complex palate of spices, blueberry, blackberry, black olive and some minerality. The finish is long and the complexity keeps evolving. A top class wine.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: June 2016

2013 Equinoxe Syrah  |  93 points

This Equinoxe confirms the 2013 vintage in my mind as one of the best ever in the deep south Okanagan. The 2.8 tons to the acre fruit is both powerful, yet elegant, and that’s before you add the savoury, white pepper, black cherry, tobacco aromas and perfectly refined tannins. The palate is blueberries, and very floral with savoury streaks, licorice and amazing elegance and length. Only 12 percent [second filled french oak] is the secret and 88 percent neutral barrels built to express the terroir of this Osoyoos based fruit. Fabulous potential here in what is a wonderful bottle of syrah. It will be even better in five to seven years.

Anthony Gismondi  |  Gismondi on Wine  |  Tasted: Oct 2016

2014 ‘Ava’  |  Gold

Best of Show Wine (National)

Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships

2014 Vaïla Rosé

Slightly off-dry on the palate, balanced by nice, crisp acidity. The aromas and flavours are of tart red berry fruits like raspberry, red currant, and red cherry giving, a juicy freshness to the finish.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Montecristo Magazine

2013 Syrah Cuvée Violette

Both meaty and savoury while also having a good dollop of ripe black fruit. Intense flavours and aromas of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry along with complex meat, smoke, and some leather make for a very interesting and delicious wine.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Montecristo Magazine

2013 ‘Ava’

Beautiful aromas of tropical fruit, white peach, and lemon blossom. The palate has a lovely rich texture with a full body, but still lots of balancing acidity from the South Okanagan’s cool nights. The result is something complex, elegant, and powerful, with a long, crisp, refreshing finish.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Montecristo Magazine

2013 ‘Ava’

Honeycomb flavours, waxy texture, resinous acidity, and a stony, dry finish

Vancouver Magazine  |  Tasted: 2015

2012 Equinoxe Syrah  |  92-94 Points

Produced in the Northern Rhone method which blends in Viognier (3.5%) during fermentation, then aged in French oak for 19 months before bottling. Still youthful at 3 years of age with further development to come over the next 4+ years, though, it may hold for 10 years or more.

Liam Carrier  |  IconWines.ca  |  Tasted: July 2015

2011 Équinoxe Syrah  |  92 Points

Steely and compact, this rather reluctantly opens to reveal subtle complexity. The mix of tart blueberry and blackberry fruit is accompanied by scents of cured meat, menthol and garrigue. It spent 18 months in a mix of barrels and puncheons, yielding a pleasant finishing impression of cedar. Decant this for at least an hour or two.

Wine Enthusiast  |  Tasted: 2015

2013 ‘Ava’  |  92 Points

In 2013 the blend is half Viognier, 41% Roussanne and 9% Marsanne. This is a thrilling wine, penetrating and seductive, with strong flavours of breakfast tea under scents and flavours of lemon blossom, rind and flesh. It invites and rewards your contemplation. Editors’ Choice.

Wine Enthusiast  |  Tasted: 2015

2012 Equinoxe Syrah  |  93 points

From a vintage that pushes the fruit out in front, this is loaded with tart, tangy blackberry, boysenberry and huckleberry flavors. At first stiff and compact, it blooms open to reveal streaks of sandalwood, sassafras, iron filings and clean earth. It’s a high-wire wine with aging potential at least until 2030. Cellar Selection.

Wine Enthusiast  |  Tasted: 2015

2012 ‘Ava’  |  93 points

A brilliant blend of 61% Viognier, 21% Roussanne and 18% Marsanne, this impresses with its proportion, tension and balance. Scents and flavours meld citrus oil and rind, fruit flavours of pineapple, grapefruit and meyer lemon, and a lovely finish with highlights of English breakfast tea. Long and elegant, this is a landmark effort. Editors’ Choice.

Wine Enthusiast  |  Tasted: 2015

2012 Syrah Cuvée Classique  |  94 points

This 100% varietal cuvée is smoky, supple and detailed. From the first sniff, what comes to mind is spice-rubbed grilled venison. In the glass it’s fresh and full, with blackberry and loganberry jam. The freshness, tension and balance are pitch-perfect. Editors’ Choice.

Wine Enthusiast  |  Tasted: 2015

2013 Petit Rouge  |  89 Points

Spicy, juicy, balanced. Made mostly of Merlot with a small dose of Syrah grapes, which comes from the Osoyoos lake district. This wine spent 13 months in neutral french oak barrels, which allow the wine to breathe without imparting the toasted or oaky characters found in the newer barrels. Expect spice and currants, black plums, and juicy pomegranate with dried herbs, leather and tobacco. The palate is supple on the entry. It has a juicy character and nice structure with fine tannins and good balance.

Daenna Van Mulligan  |  WineScores.ca  |  Tasted: Oct. 23, 2015

2012 Syrah Cuvee Violette  |  1st Place

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.

Wine Explorers 1st World Wine Tasting  |  Wine Explorers  |  Tasted: Aug 2015

2013 ‘Ava’  |  90 pts

This is a classy wine. It manages to be rich and ripe yet still has crisp freshness and some elegance. The aromas are heady with tropical fruit, white peaches and lemon blossoms but it is the texture that is the best part. There is good weight but crisp acidity gives it freshness while a slight phenolic grip adds a savoury side to balance the inherent fruitiness. A long, clean refreshing finish completes the package.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: July 2015

2013 Syrah Cuvée Violette  |  91 pts

Nicely combines Syrah’s meaty and savoury side with some ripe black fruit and a bit of toasty oak. The raspberry, blueberry and blackberry notes are given complexity by the meat, smoke and some leather. The palate is intensely flavoured, medium in body with a nice juicy meatiness, like a freshly carved leg of lamb. Tannins are nicely structured, complexity is there and should age well. Very well done.

Rhys Pender (Master of Wine)  |  Wine Align  |  Tasted: Aug. 2015

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