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Équinoxe: equal day, equal night. Equal heat of the day, equal cold of the night. Equal new world, equal old world.
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 the extremely uniformly ripe and clean grapes with minimal need for sorting (quite the opposite of 2008 and 2010 and what we are seeing in 2013 as I type these words). 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.
The 2012 Equinoxe Syrah is comprised of fruit grown in two very different but complementary sub appelations in the South Okanagan Valley. A traditionally made Syrah in the sense that the sum is considered greater than the parts (lieux-dits trumping single cru ala Chez Jamet, JL Chave, Clape). The resulting effort is a very complex wine with medium+ garnet colour that perfectly and effortlessly combines elements of both old world and new world styles. This monumental wine is at the same time feminine and masculine. It has grace and power, spice and florals, game and savoury notes. Yin and yang come together to showcase a perfectly balanced Syrah.
Awards & Ratings
- Wine Enthusiast
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.
92-94 pts | Liam Carrier | IconWines.ca
Deep cherry colour. Savoury, poultry spice, vanilla, white pepper, black cherry, leather aromas with a bit of tobacco. Dry, fresh, round, elegant palate with light, lean tannins. Dark chocolate, peppery, black cherry, plum, tobacco, savoury herb, resin and licorice flavours with some tea leaf notes and a hint of meat. A leaner, elegant style that is still sitting well with in itself that will develop over the next five to seven years.
89 points | Stuart Tobe | Gismondi on Wine
Ample cracked black pepper opens this potent, complex syrah. A tiny tip of co-fermented viognier adds perfumed cold cream fragrance to the mix, but this vintage is dominated by big peppery, roasted meats, flirting tar and structured, bristling tannins. Bacon fat coats the palate before a rage of earthy, dusty tannins take over. The finish lingers with fresh roasted coffee. With grapes from Osoyoos Lake District and North Oliver. Decant now, or cellar for short term.
89 points | Treve Ring | Gismondi on Wine