Wine Pick: Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violette

Proof that a quintessentially French grape can make itself right at home in B.C.

September 11, 2015

By DJ Kearney / Photo: John Sinal

One of the grapes best suited to the Okanagan Valley is syrah, the majestic red variety from Southern France’s Rhône valley. It’s planted in modest amounts throughout the interior (just 547 acres, compared to 1,600 acres of merlot), but it produces head-turning wines, like this streamlined marvel from Le Vieux Pin in the South Okanagan.

Perfectly named, Cuvée Violette delivers the unique perfume of truly ripe syrah, with delicate violet—yes, violet—fragrance ahead of dark berry, smoked meat, and cracked pepper aromas. In the mouth, it combines sweet black fruit, grilled viand, oak spice, sensuous tannins, and bright, uplifting acidity. Evocative of syrahs from Côte-Rôtie, it’s polished for 14 months in mostly old French oak. Winemaker Severine Pinte interprets syrah like a scholar, and Cuvée Violette is one of a trio of high-quality, entirely different Rhone-style wines from Le Vieux Pin that represent benchmarks for noble syrah in B.C. It can age for a few years, but it’s glorious now in a large-bowled glass, all on its own or paired with venison or a prime cut of beef.

Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Violette
Available from the winery here and at private wine stores

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