Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Sumac Ridge Estate Winery NV Sparkling Shiraz  (Okanagan Valley)

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

NV Sparkling Shiraz
(Okanagan Valley)

Sumac Ridge Estate Winery pioneered the production of sparkling wine in the traditional bottle-fermented method in British Columbia. The winery’s flagship bubbly, Steller’s Jay Brut, was released first in 1989 and has become one of British Columbia’s most-awarded sparkling wines.

This bottle-fermented Sparkling Shiraz is Canada’s first bubbly made with Shiraz (or Syrah) grapes. The winery has released about 1,000 cases, a substantial volume that shows an ongoing commitment to this style. Winemaker Mark Wendenburg has another lot maturing on the lees.

The obvious inspiration comes from the numerous sparkling Shiraz wines made in Australia. The higher volume Australian examples are frothy, rich confections with noticeable residual sugar. Deliberately, Wendenburg has gone in a different direction with the style of the first Canadian sparkling Shiraz, producing a wine that is drier (only 7.5 grams of residual sugar) and versatile with many foods. Dark in colour, the wine has the classic gamy aroma and flavour of the variety, but also with notes of blueberry and cherry on the finish. With fine, long-lasting bubbles, the wine puts on a very nice show if served in a good Champagne flute. 88 points.

Reviewed February 12, 2007 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
Vintage: NV
Wine: Sparkling Shiraz
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Syrah / Shiraz
Price: 750ml $30.00

Review Date: 2/12/2007

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.