Syrah, CC Jentsch Cellars, Oliver, Okanagan Valley VQA, BC, 2013, 13.8% abv, C$30 (2013 vintage tasted October, 2015, 2015 vintage tasted May, 2021)

This BC wine was the winner in the Judgement of BC blind tasting held in August, 2015 in Vancouver. Now, this was no small feat – 12 BC wines (Chardonnay and Syrah) were cast against 12 benchmark Chardonnay and Syrah wines from regions located around the world.

While BC wines didn’t fare so well on the Chardonnay side of things, the CC Jentsch Cellars 2013 Syrah placed first.

The rather famous Steven Spurrier who organized the even more famous Judgement of Paris in 1976 was in town to sit on the panel for this event, having attended the BC Pinot Noir Celebration the weekend before (where I was a judge).

2013 Vintage
The CC Jentsch Syrah verges on deep ruby and on the nose, a tingling minerality accompanies deep, ripe purple fruit with plum, vanilla, ginger and clove, and significant pine and jentsch  There’s an underlying base of tar adding to the complexity.

The palate is dry with some gorgeous tannins that offer just enough strained grip to go with your meat or charcuterie. Alcohol and acidity are perfectly positioned and flavours include sausage and pepperoni, tobacco and more Damson plum with ripe field berries and sweet cranberry, vanillin and ginger blossom.

A distinct herbal pine cone and soya sauce accompanies the long, lingering finish on this balanced, layered, expressive Syrah.

2015 Vintage
I had waited a long time to open this, my last bottle of Jentsch Syrah, knowing it would have a long window and could never disappoint.  However, when the very talented Chris Jentsch passed away suddenly last month, as did the incredible Steven Spurrier, I started to think there were larger forces at work and I decided to enjoy this while toasting a dear friend’s recent retirement.

A deep translucent garnet, boysenberry, blueberry and fir tip dominate the heady nose.  More blue and purple fruit dominates the dry palate with its silky tannins and sparkly minerality.  The fresh fruit flavours are nestled on a palette of soya sauce, anise, leather belt and salami.  The long finish lingers just as the 2013’s did.

About winellama

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