Super spicy—in a good way. A funky woodiness reminiscent of Oz Shiraz. There is an unusual Pinot Noir lightness on the palate (and the glass, it’s so pale it’s nearly anemic), but it holds its weight on the finish. Despite the balance and approachability, despite all the lovely tangents on the nose and mouth, this wine never grew on us, as a sipper, or with dinner. Ephemeral. When all was said and done we felt it wasn’t, dollar-wise, better than many cheaper options at BCL, but neither was it as striking or memorable as we’d been led to believe.
By that I mean we bought it as the Jentsch rated tops in a list of 15 Syrahs, many from BC which were judged alongside “global benchmarks” (their term, not mine); although judging a dozen wines or so seems hardly representative, more of the sort of party game you’d see this blogger create, “judges” who produce a “list” gives credence to the “sticker” which boosts sales (which also translates as hard to find in a store; a Jentsch blog with the top Syrah and Chardonnays is here.). In the “judged” list Nichol is my favorite of the lot but overall, despite the quality of these wines, you pay through the nose, relative to Australia and South America. (As an aside, the Hamilton Russell scored quite high in their Chardonnay list; although a different vintage, we are huge fans too.) OK, rather than quibble with the list per se, and noting that no one will turn up their nose at a guest bringing over a bottle of Langmeil, but as a previous client of Garagiste in Seattle, I can tell you point blank that nothing in the Okanagan, nothing, at whatever price point, can compete with the very best from Walla Walla. Which leads me to believe the judges missed some fine West Coast wines, despite the global benchmark.
Price: $35 plus at Everything Wine.
Market Liquidity: All I could hear was Mr. Burns saying “I like the cut of his jib.” Which is, yes, a dig at the experts.