Syrah 2015

Vineyard: Pentâge Winery
Region: Okanagan Valley


91-Wine Align, 90-Anthony Gismondi

Tasting Notes 

Black cherry, cedar, red plum on the nose, with just the faintest whiff of black pepper. On the palate, the cherry is more red than black, along with tart raspberry, red currant and pipe tobacco. The balance is fantastic, with fine grained tannins and mouthwatering acidity. A truly elegant style of Syrah, hearkening back to Old World, but with New World sensibilities. Pair with rack of lamb, stuffed portobellos or grilled chicken.


Syrah is grown throughout the world, producing beautifully diverse and interesting wines. Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The style and flavour profile of Syrah is greatly influenced by the climate in which the grapes are grown. Moderate climates, such as the northern Rhône Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State, tend to produce medium- to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates, Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of licorice, anise and earthy leather. BC has some stunning examples of Syrah, with the right combination of elevation, sunlight and cool evenings.


Skaha Bench is a mountainous subregion of the Okanagan Valley, in the heart of British Columbia. The days here can be extremely hot, which allows for full phenolic ripeness. The glacier-fed Skaha Lake forms a protective microclimate bubble during the cool evenings, which helps maintain the acidity necessary for balance. This region, near Penticton, is home to some of the most iconic wineries in Canada.


Vistaridge was the original estate vineyard. Set against the stunning backdrop of glacier-fed Skaha Lake and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the soil is a mix of loose sand, silt and stone-free glacial sediment. The vines are planted north to south to get the most of the midday sun, in the seldom-used Lyre trellising system. Dirty Dozen Vineyard, purchased in 2007, has a similar soil composition to Vistaridge, but is planted with the Geneva Double Curtain trellising system which allows for more sunlight to hit the grape clusters.


Fermented in 4 different batches, each one utilizing a different selected yeast strain. Each batch was fermented slowly with manual punchdowns before aging in a combination of 70% French and 30% American oak barrels, a third of which were new oak. The wines are blended and bottled, then left to rest for a few years before release.

Cellar Profile

For over 40 years, this family-owned winery has farmed the majestic slopes of the Brenta Dolomite Mountains, next to historic Lake Garda and at the foot of Castel Madruzzo. Growing on steeply-terraced slopes that require Herculean efforts and hand-harvesting, these wines are singular in style and a totally different experience from other Northern Italian regions. Some of these vineyards rise as high as 3500ft above sea level. Pravis has plantings of the autocthonous Nosiola, existing only in a few small parcels in this region and nowhere else in the world. There are an array of other aromatic whites, such as Kerner, Muller-Thurgau and Gewürztrmainer. The reds are exposed to intense daytime sunlight, as the Dolomites form a natural cloud barrier, with temperatures dropping dramatically in the evening. These diurnal shifts allow full phenolic ripening of the grapes, while retaining acidity and freshness. These are red wines of both power and elegance.

Wine Type: Red

Orientation: North to south

Appellation: Skaha Bench

Soil: Silt, sand and glacial sediment

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Alcohol: 14.5%

Malolactic: Yes

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Other Practices: Sustainable