Saturday, January 5, 2013

La Frenz Shiraz

Pulling the cork on any La Frenz wine can be a bit of a test for my blog. La Frenz is one of our favourite BC wineries and, justifiably so, I've already added a good number of Jeff and Niva Martin's wines to The List. Since one of my primary ground rules for adding a wine to The List is that I can't add the same bottle twice, I always have to check the blog to see if I've previously added a particular La Frenz wine. The good part of my rule is that I can add different vintages of the same wine to The List.

As luck would have it, I've yet to add this '05 vintage to The List. The '02 and '06 versions can be found respectively at #668 and #426 but that still leaves a spot for tonight's bottle.

1341.  2005 La Frenz Shiraz (Naramata Bench - Okanagan Valley)

As transplanted Aussies, it's not surprising to find the Martins on top of making a Shiraz varietal wine - especially since the Okanagan, as a region, is continually proving that it has the potential to produce wonderful cool climate Shiraz or Syrah. La Frenz has opted to call its varietal wine a Shiraz - while most BC producers are producing Syrah. I think it's fair to say that the nomenclature has less to do with New World vs. Old World stylings and more to do with Jeff Martin's Aussie roots - where, of course, Shiraz reigns supreme.

Regardless of his styling bents, this is another La Frenz winner. Indeed, the 2005 bottling won silver at both the Northwest Wine Summit and the All Canadian Wine Championships in 2008. On the La Frenz website, Jeff has suggested that the Shiraz is best opened within five years of release. We're at that five year spread now and were pleasantly surprised by the largesse of dark fruit that was still evident on the nose and palate.

With the long awaited BC Wine Appreciation Society's Great Syrah/Shiraz Taste-Off just around the corner, this is a nice start to getting our palates prepped for some of the Okanagan wines to come. I can't wait.

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