Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Peller Estates (BC) 2004 Syrah Private Reserve  (Okanagan Valley)

Peller Estates (BC)

2004 Syrah Private Reserve
(Okanagan Valley)

This is the first Okanagan Syrah to be released by Andrew Peller Ltd., with production limited to just 15 barrels, or about 375 cases. That’s too bad, because this is a pretty tasty wine. Peller has been expanding its grape sources in the Okanagan during the past two years and might be able to ramp up the volumes of this popular red in subsequent releases.

The acreage of Syrah in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley has been rising sharply in recent years, from 198 acres in 2004 to 338 acres this year, or 10% of the total plantings of red varieties. Vintners have discovered that it yields delicious wines that sell in a flash. It is also a chancy variety, ripening so late that frost is always a risk. In the 2004 vintage, the Peller growers picked Syrah on October 26, at the very end of the harvest. Even then, the Brix only reached 23.3 degrees.

The result, however, is a charming, medium-bodied Syrah with sensible alcohol levels. The aroma recalls cherries and plums, with a toasty or smoky aroma, likely a reflection of the 18 months this wine spent in barrels (half French, half American). The palate shows layers of fruit flavours – cherry, blueberry, vanilla and plum – with mineral notes that give the wine a backbone that it would not get from its soft, ripe tannins. A very promising varietal launch. 87 points.

Reviewed November 22, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Peller Estates (BC)
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Syrah Private Reserve
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Syrah / Shiraz
Price: 750ml $19.99

Review Date: 11/22/2006

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.