Top Wine Picks! Are You Feeling Lucky?

This week’s top picks focus on feeling/getting lucky, to paraphrase Daft Punk, Dirty Harry and others.

Rather than lift lucky quotes from either the song or the film, let’s just jump into looking at three wines that seem to have luck swirling about them in one capacity or another…

  1. Road 13 2011 Jackpot Syrah — Okanagan Valley, $40

Nothing says luck like hitting the jackpot, and nobody makes savoury Syrah in the Okanagan Valley like the legendary Mick Luckhurst. The first time I was lucky enough to try this was as a judge at the British Columbia Wine Awards in 2013 (where the wine won a Gold Medal). Its balance of ripe fruit and modest savoury notes impressed the judges, and the touch of Viognier from the Home Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench adds great complexity and viscosity.

  1. Luckett Vineyards 2011 Leon Millot — Nova Scotia, $20

Chances are you’ve never had a wine made from the red Leon Millot grape before — it’s not the most common grape variety going, to be sure. ­A hybrid grape developed in Alsace by a French viticulturist, the grape ripens early and is resistant to many vineyard diseases — which, as luck would have it, works well in Nova Scotia’s Gaspereau Valley. Pete and Sue Luckett and their winemaking team have managed to balance ripe red berry notes with secondary blackberry and dark chocolate notes, and have done well to use American oak (in moderation).

  1. Laughing Stock 2012 Portfolio — Okanagan Valley, $45

You can’t play the stock market without a little luck on your side, and the Laughing Stock Portfolio is sure to pay some tasty dividends (Is that the right term? Sorry, I was an English major). A blend of 45% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2012 Portfolio is the 10th vintage of the winery’s iconic red blend. And while producers were lucky 2012 was a great vintage in the Okanagan Valley, their skill in picking the grapes at the right time and aging the wine in French oak for 19 months resulted in a beautifully balanced red. It brings plush cassis, plum and blackberry flavours with mocha and white pepper notes as well as some modest vanilla and light tannin from the time in oak.


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.

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