GOODS: Okanagan’s “Le Vieux Pin” Releases Its Second Vintages Of Syrah And Viognier
The GOODS from Le Vieux Pin
Vancouver, BC | A year ago, Le Vieux Pin announced a new direction and released its inaugural Syrah and Viognier/Roussanne. We are now delighted to release the next vintages, and think the 2009 Syrah is a benchmark wine for the Okanagan; truly a triumph and a demonstration of what Syrah can achieve here. To say we are proud and excited about this wine would be a vast understatement. It has already toured Europe and confirmed orders in Switzerland and Germany with wines shipping this spring to esteemed locations in both, including Osnabrück’s 3 Michelin Star institution La Vie. Not to be outdone, the matching white wine is the 2010 Ava. This follows last year’s 2009 Viognier/Roussanne with the addition of Marsanne to the blend. The wines are being released together, but they come from contrasting vintages. 2010 was cooler and the resulting Viognier/ Marsanne/ Roussanne is fresh crisp and lively. 2009 was a very warm vintage in the Okanagan and the 2009 Syrah takes full advantage. It is aromatically intense, incredibly balanced and tantalizingly complex. Learn more about both wines – and Le Vieux Pin – after the jump…
How to order: Both wines can be ordered online, or by email. Le Vieux Pin offers a10% discount on full case orders (can be mix and match cases).
2009 Syrah ($45.00) – Who says the sequel can’t surpass the original?
In contrast with 2008, the 2009 vintage was hot from the get go and the sun shone until the early frost in the second week of October. The resulting wines show riper fruit, rounded acidity, slightly higher alcohol levels and other characteristics associated with a warm vintage. The 2009 Syrah is comprised of fruit grown in two different sub appellations in the South Okanagan Valley and again this vintage was fermented with a few percent Viognier. While it combines elements of both the old and new world, our Syrah leans more toward what you would expect from France – hence the name.
91 Points – John Schreiner:
“Made with fruit from three south Okanagan vineyards, this wine begins with an appealing red fruit aroma. On the palate, there are flavours of plum and black cherry with spice and white pepper on the finish. The tannins are round and ripe.”
90 Points – David Lawrason:
“This could very easily be syrah from the Rhône Valley. It has a lovely, floral, blackberry, licorice and peppery nose buffed with some new oak vanilla and smoke. It’s medium-full bodied, smooth and a touch sweet but in-filled with great black licorice and ripe blackberry. The finish trails some minerality and sage, hitting excellent length.”
2010 Ava ($35.00) – A cool vintage delivers a fresh delicious white
The two biggest keys to growing these late ripening varieties successfully are very low yields and canopy management designed to expose the bunches to the sun and promote air circulation. In the cellar, the wine sees fermentation in both stainless steel and French oak barrels combined with extended elevage in barrel to gain complexity and palate richness.
92 Points – John Schreiner:
“In a tradition of this winery of naming wines for employees’ children, this white blend is named for winemaker Severine Pinte’s daughter. The wine is a blend of [mostly] Viognier with Roussanne and Marsanne. This is a big basket of fruit flavours – apricot, melon and citrus. The balance is such that wine manages to be both fleshy in texture and refreshing and dry on the very long finish.”
89 Points – John Szabo:
This is a big and backwards wine, but be patient and above all give it some air (i.e. decant an hour ahead) – the change is dramatic. The muted nose turns floral and full of ripe orchard fruit like peaches and apricots, with inviting sweet herbal accents of tarragon, basil and fennel. The palate is full and rich, with generous 14.2% alcohol and surprisingly crisp acidity, given the considerable concentration, density and weight of the wine. A fine Rhône-style white with satisfying depth of flavour all in all. Should be at its best from 2013 on.
Keep an eye out in the next couple months for Le Vieux Pin’s spring releases by joining their newsletter.
The People Who Make It Happen
Wine Maker: Severine Pinte
About Le Vieux Pin
The best wines come from the best vineyard sites; this is “terroir.” Fortunately for us (and you!), the Okanagan Valley happens to be one of the best wine regions anywhere with its unique climate and variety of latitudes and soils. There is a perceptible difference in temperature and greenery around the valley, from the lushness of the north to the sage ridden desert in the South. According to WineBC, the area between Oliver and Osoyoos is the northernmost tip of the northernmost desert in the world; the Sonora Desert. The summers are very hot; it is hotter in July and August than Napa Valley, but the evenings are markedly cooler. Osoyoos has 1450 growing degree days and a mere eight inches of average annual rainfall (WineBC.com). Low rainfall, high heat units and a dry environment allow us to farm in a sustainable manner with all the respect the land deserves.
Our vineyard management strategy is based on Old World techniques with a dusting of New World modernism added on top. Our focus is to make wine that is representative of its terroir. Non-interventionist and low-input viticulture is the method we use to get there. Deficit irrigation, on-site composting, high-density plantings and extremely low yields allow the vines to show us who they really are, deep down to their roots.
We have very distinct soil composition between our vineyards: some sites are very high in white silica sand while others are quite gravelly and rocky. Some sites show traces of schist and shale deposited by volcanic activities in the area. Along with our sister winery Lastella we own and cultivate 50 acres of vineyards scattered throughout the South Okanagan. We also source some grapes from a select group of growers who have certified organic vineyards or grow with sustainability in mind.
Passion, friendship, dedication and commitment are the recipe for our success.
Please visit the winery when you visit the Okanagan and join our email newsletter for the latest news from wine country. Visit us online at www.levieuxpin.ca on Facebook at www.facebook.com/levieuxpin and twitter at twitter.com/levieuxpin.
Á votre santé!