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Syrah has become a powerful varietal for BC winegrowers, both in terms of its success in growing well in the south Okanagan, and for what it has been delivering in the glass. The 2013 Syrah is 100% estate grown on our Perfect Hedge Vineyard in Osoyoos. The style we have developed is inspired by the classic Côte Rotie style in the Northern Rhône, blending 96% Syrah with 4% Viognier. By combining the strong masculinity of Syrah with the more delicate femininity of Viognier, the result is a classic example of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Another warm vintage means nice ripe blackberry fruit flavours and classic black pepper spice from Syrah. While the Viognier adds a slightly softer floral edge, this vineyard site also brings a nice herbal earthiness to the wine, perhaps due to the old growth sage that surrounds it.
The Syrah was fermented in three separate lots: 1 lot co-fermented with Viognier in stainless steel fermenters, another lot was fermented in 500 L open top French oak puncheons, and the last lot was fermented in a 2600 L French oak tank called “The Ferminator”. In this large oak tank, 20% was left as whole cluster and 80% whole berries. After pressing, the wine was barrel aged for 14 months in 40% new French oak.
In 2013, we were again blessed by Mother Nature with a warm growing season. However, every year always brings its challenges and while we had solid heat units through the summer months, it also brought some humidity which is not usual for the Okanagan. For reds, mildew pressure was higher than normal, but with prudent farming strategies, our vineyards were not affected. It can be tempting in a good growing year to leave extra crop on the vines, but our approach is to be conservative and crop the vineyard lightly to deal with the unpredictability of weather. Fortunately, after some rains in September, the weather dried up through October which allowed us to pick on schedule at optimal ripeness levels.