Sunday, May 29, 2011

Quinta Ferreira Syrah

With a bit of sun actually on the scene and no hockey playoff action to fit into the schedule tonight, a little BBQ action sounded like a plan. Since we weren't throwing another shrimp on the bar-bee, I didn't feel any need for allegiance to an Aussie wine. We weren't too far off though - going with a BC Syrah instead of a down under Shiraz.

816. 2005 Quinta Ferreira Syrah (Okanagan Valley)

When I said that "we weren't too far off" an Aussie Shiraz, I wasn't joking. The Ferreira family, owners and winemakers at Quinta Ferreira, may be of Portugese heritage but this wine was definitely big and fruity and reminiscent of the juicy Shiraz that helped get the Aussies on the wine map. In fact, all that fruit might have been almost a bit much.

I remember we picked up this bottle a couple of years back while up in the Okanagan for the Spring Wine Festival. I'd tried some Quinta Ferreira wines - for the first time - at the big festival tasting and, since we were heading down to Oliver and the Black Sage Road area a day or so later, we made a bit of a side trip to visit them. At the time, Quinta Ferreira hadn't even opened to the public. They were hoping to reveal their tasting room within a month or so, but patriarch, John Ferreira, told us that he'd show us around a bit if he was there; so, we dropped in.

It was a short visit but he introduced us to his wife, Maria, and son, Michael, the latter being in the middle of finishing off his studies to take over winemaking duties at the new winery. We managed a few additional tastes of their wines - out of Maria's office none-the-less - and snagged a couple bottles even though they weren't really open for business.

I think I might remember why there was such big fruit on this Shiraz. John had talked of what a big year and vintage 2005 had been. They had so much Shiraz that they used the old saigneé method and bled off a lot of the juice from the crush and made a Rosé with it. I remember the story because I found it very extraordinary that a BC winery would use Shiraz for a Rosé. That circumstance likely just helped to firm up the red Shiraz.

I believe the 2005 vintage was the first Shiraz for the winery and, given that, I think they performed rather admirably with the production. I'd like to see if the more recent vintages are picking up more speed and or finesse as the vines mature and the Ferreira's discover more of the in's and out's of BC winemaking.

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