Dear Albertans: Stockpile This B.C. Syrah Before the Blockade
More proof that B.C. syrah is among the best in the world. Seriously.
Ten years ago, a threat to stop B.C. wine at the Alberta border would have been met with mild indifference. It was “Oh no, don’t throw us in the briar patch” territory. Only a few wineries (Burrowing Owl comes to mind) were shipping much product and the general consensus in the Wild Rose province was that B.C. wine was too pricey and not good enough—and for the most part, they were right.
What a difference a decade makes. The cost of all wine in Alberta has been steadily creeping up such that it’s no longer the wine paradise it once was in the years following deregulation. B.C. wine’s quality has also increased with each vintage and the result of these two vectors can’t be better stated than in this bottle of wine.
If I gave you $30 and set you lose on the mean streets of Calgary or Edmonton, I don’t think you’d find a better bottle of syrah than this gem from Narrative. It’s a scrappy little gem, unbelievably light on its feet and rolls at you with a flurry of notes: freshly ground black pepper first and foremost, but also crisp underripe plum and some bitter chocolate, all delivered with a food-friendly dose of zippy acidity. God, it’s good wine. If this wine was Australian the wine press would be talking about how it represents the new wave of great Aussie syrah (and it would be $40). If it was from France it would be called Cornas or even Côte-Rôtie and it might be $75. But it’s neither—it’s B.C. and if you want to find another syrah of this character and complexity for $30, your only other place to look is elsewhere in the Okanagan (Laughing Stock, Black Hills or Stag’s Hollow would all be a start).
So here’s hoping the ban never happens—but if it does I’ll be happy to bootleg this wine for my Alberta friends.