Laughing Stock, Syrah, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, 2011, 14% abv, C$36

I was looking through the ‘cellar’ (if one can really call it that considering we live on the 35th floor), for a red from the Okanagan’s Naramata Bench to enjoy with friends about to embark on a tour of the Similkameen and Penticton, and landed upon this bottle.

As stated on their website, Laughing Stock is ‘…a serious enterprise with a most unfortunate moniker’. They claim to wake up every day motivated to ‘…not live up to our name’.

Witty, verrrry witty.

Here’s another example of people living my dream life – they upped and changed theirs to do something completely different and adventurous. Wish I was so brave.

In this case, David and Cynthia Enns worked in the financial industry prior to 2003 when after making trips to speak with renowned winemakers and wineries and taking UC Davis courses and such, they decided to follow their hearts and purchase Laughing Stock.

They’ve certainly put their money where their proverbial mouths are and it’s clear they’ve considered everything in their drive to be consistently top notch.

Yup – their marketing is pretty cool, they have closed their gates to splashy sipper limos and buses (you have to call ahead – I love it, don’t ever change), they’ve hired professional ambassadors who actually know something about wine in their tasting room and their wines are pretty damned hot.

This Syrah started life as a ‘saignée’ project for a rosé. The remaining red must was kept for this wine. It was co-fermented with Viognier in stainless steel (70%) and the remainder was in put into French oak. After pressing, it spent an additional 16 months ageing in 40% new French barrels (Troncais or Limousin, Nevers, Vosges or Alliers? Enquiring minds want to know – what kind of oak, pray tell).

This wine is clear and bright, opaque ruby with deep legs. On the nose it’s developing and clean with medium plus intense aromas of licorice, deep plum, ripe raspberry, blackberry vine and a dusting of white pepper.

The palate is dry with medium plus acidity, slightly grainy but very smooth tannins, medium body and medium alcohol with pronounced intense flavours of cassis and plum, leaf, smoke, anise, clove and cedar. It has a long and luscious finish.

This black beauty is WSET ‘very good’ and can be enjoyed now or cellared for 5-7 considering those tannins, fruit and acidity.
Unsurprisingly, it was awarded a 91 by John Schreiner and won a gold medal for the National Wine Awards of Canada in 2013.


About winellama

I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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