846 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
For the Grange, Parker gets even more creative in his tasting notes:
Remember that old Heinz Ketchup “anticipation” ad from the 1970s? The
palate of this 2013 Grange does just that. It makes you wait with so much
delicious promise being drip fed into the mouth at first—and then it
bursts forth and delivers! … Unfurling and slowly building in the medium
to full-bodied mouth with wonderful grace and depth, it reveals an
incredible array of ripe black fruit, spice, meat and earth-inspired flavors,
with a rock-solid frame to support this beauty (it should easily cellar for
40+ years!), while previously latent flavors emerge fully on the epically
long finish, culminating in that ultimate Grange experience. Oh, yes!
“Anticipation”, “delicious promise being drip fed”, “unfurling and slowly
building” and “culminating” are terms one would normally associate with a
subject that is only incidentally related to the consumption of wine. If
Parker had thrown in a few more “oh, yeses”, we would be down at the wine
store right now picking up cases of this stuff—cost be damned!
These Parker reviews attest to the fact that wines produced from Syrah are
some of the most serious, intense and flavourful wines one can find.
Although Syrah remains most prominent in France and Australia, it is being
grown in increasing abundance in most wine regions of the world, including
California, Washington state, Italy, Chile and right here in British Columbia.
Indeed, the Syrah wines being produced in our province are some of the best
reds on offer locally. Some of the finer examples include the Syrahs of
Painted Rock, Le Vieux Pin, Maverick, Nichol and Laughing Stock. Chile is
also producing high-quality Syrah and at very reasonable prices.
Syrah finds its origins in the Rhône wine region of France. Although it
was once believed that the grape was introduced to the Rhône from cuttings
of vines near Shiraz in Persia, recent DNA testing conducted at the University
of California, Davis has proven that the grape is indigenous to France
and is a cross of two obscure varieties, Mondeuse Blanche and Dureza. In
France, the Syrah grape is most prominent in the northern Rhône and used
to make red wine in the appellations known as Côte-Rôtie, Saint-Joseph,
Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Cornas. In certain of these appellations,
the Syrah can be co-fermented with a small quantity of white grapes. In the
Côte-Rôtie, Viognier is used, while in Hermitage, Marsanne and Roussanne
are the white grapes that are added to the Syrah. The addition of white
grapes, particularly Viognier, provides an aromatic quality to the wine,
along with floral scents. However, many of the wines of the northern Rhône
are made from one hundred per cent Syrah. Syrah is also prominent in the
southern Rhône but is usually blended with Grenache and other varietals.
It is an important feature of many of the great Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.
It is now undisputed that the Australian grape known as Shiraz is the
exact same variety as Syrah. It is believed that the varietal was introduced