Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nichol Cab/Syrah

Another quick grab from the cellar. As Boo "gently nudges" me towards drinking more of the wines that we have stored away, I find myself reaching for some of the "older" vintages that we've been holding off on.

An '04 hardly counts as a fully aged wine, but I think we'll likely see more and more BC wines from the early to mid- years of the 00's as he tightens the "No Buy Leash."

916. 2004 Nichol Vineyard Cabernet-Syrah (Naramata Bench - Okanagan Valley)

John Schreiner writes that it was Labour Day 2004 that current Nichol owner and winemaker, Ross Hackworth, started negotiations to buy the winery from Alex and Kathleen Nichol. The grapes for this wine wouldn't have been picked much after the start of that fateful deal.

After a quick look, I couldn't find a breakdown of the blend on this wine, but the label states that it is "estate grown." As such, I think the "Cabernet" must refer to Cab Franc because I'm not aware of Nichol ever having planted Cab Sauv on its Naramata Bench vineyards. They have, however, produced a Cab Franc for years and, as reported elsewhere in this blog, the Nichols were the first to plant Syrah vines in the Okanagan (much to the derision of many). I see that the winery currently has a Cabernet Franc/Syrah blend; so, I think this must have been an early pre-cursor to the wine.

A guess might be that most BC consumers wouldn't have known what a Cab Franc was back in 2006 when the wine was released. So, they just left off the "Franc" part for marketing purposes. How times change.

I do know that the 2004 Nichol Syrah won an '07 Lieutenant Governor's Wine Award. So, at least a good portion of this Cab-Syrah has a pretty healthy pedigree.

If this bottle is any example of what's to come, I may get to like this "arm-twisting" of Boo's to drink more of the wines we already have.

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