So what do we think of when someone mentions Canada? Cold weather? Snow? Maple Leaves? Hockey? That silly Canadian 'eh' thrown in during conversation? Who thinks of wine? Well...maybe icewine, especially those tasty little numbers that pop out of the Niagara Peninsula. But have you ever had a Canadian red wine?
Better run out and grab this one folks: The 2001 Osoyoos Larose Grand Vin. A killer blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The wine is a partnership between the Canadian wine giant Vincor and the French company, Groupe Taillan, which owns the Bordeaux Château Gruaud Larose.
The wine hails from the Osoyoos region in the south of British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, very close to the U.S. border with Washington state. The area is pratically a desert and is earning a name for producing rich, complex red wines. The Osoyoos Larose is an example.
This wine is no joke: full of big, rich, sweet black fruits (think plum, blackberry, a hint of cherry), vanilla spice and a hint of chocolate. Complex, yet balanced, with silky tannins and a medium finish. Comparable to some of the big California Mertiage blends but half the price, coming in at roughly $35 a bottle.
Bottle image courtesy of www.northwest-wine.com