Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hardly A Laughing Matter

Lately, and possibly even justifiably so, Boo has been on a major campaign to drink some of the older BC wines that we have in our cellar. He's tightened the "No Buy Leash" (like that's anything new) and he's determined to free up some space in our place. It's not like we're running into a lot of flawed bottles but, admittedly so, a lot of the BC wines that we've got in the cellar were made by fairly new wineries that were only learning about their Okanagan terroir and were made from pretty young vines. None of those factors are necessarily hallmarks of long-aging wines.

As such, we might be seeing a few wines - on a Tuesday night - that aren't exactly Tuesday night wines. I suppose I shouldn't complain though - especially when they show as well and taste as fine as tonight's wine did.

1806.  2006 Laughing Stock Portfolio (Okanagan Valley)

I haven't added a large number of Laughing Stock wines to The List but that's primarily because we don't have a many of them to open. Production is limited and finding the wines can be difficult unless you happen to be travelling on the Naramata Bench shortly after the wines have been released. Unlike a number of Okanagan wineries, Laughing Stock has decided to limit the number of wines that they'll make and the grape varieties that they'll work with. I think they're still limiting themselves to the two red blends - Portfolio and Blind Trust - the Syrah and a similarly limited selection of whites. And none of those wines are made in big volumes.

I think the easiest way of giving you the goods on the provenance of Laughing Stock's Portfolio is to refer you to an article written by BC wine scribe extraordinaire, John Schreiner, in which he sets out a nice little recap of Laughing Stock's first decade, especially of this flagship blend.

In addition to reading John Schreiner, I always find it to be great fun to read the "ticker tape" gracing Laughing Stock bottles and this vintage of the Portfolio is no exception. In addition to setting out information on wine inside, the label shows the value of highly held stocks on the day that the grapes were picked. On this particular label, Research In Motion was still selling for $133.31 a share and it had seen a rise of $4.02 that day. I'm not sure there are many more vintages showing RIM in such a good light.

Most vintages of Portfolio do, however, show that the wine skews to the Right Bank of Bordeaux-style blends. The '06 vintage was 61% Merlot, 16% each of Cab Sauv and Cab Franc, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. Merlot dominant blends are common enough for the Okanagan but, if they all tasted as good as this one, I'd say keep bringing them on.

Big with generous dark fruit, this baby is still a strong buy - if you could only find any. Sadly, it was our last bottle. I'm just glad that Boo had me open it while it was still this tasty.

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