February 25, 2010 - Rachel Goudreau
It's not often that I'm excited about a wineries first vintage release. More often than not, it takes a few years for a winemaker to really get the hang of things. However, in the case of Young & Wyse, I was hooked right away!
It's not surprising that winemaker Steve Wyse put out some great juice his first vintage. He had spent 10 years honing his craft at Burrowing Owl before deciding to leave the family winery and start his own with partner Michelle Young. They found a beautiful vineyard in Osooyos and got straight to work, releasing a delicious Shiraz as well as a great Merlot, both from the 2008 vintage. There are plans for more varietals in the future.
The thing that excited me most when I first tasted these wines was the price tag. The Merlot comes in at only $20, with the Shiraz being only $23. Though they are not available at B.C. Liquor stores, you can find them at specialty stores or order at www.youngandwysewine.com/purchase
The aromas of the Merlot are enticing, with notes of plum, tobacco, and cocoa butter. The palate is rich and mouth-filling. There is plenty of cherry, oaky spice, and vanilla up front. Though as the wine opens up in the glass, it starts showing more complexity with blueberry, violets and herbaceous tones.
Lately I have been serving a lot of this wine to parties who were looking for something affordable yet crowd pleasing and food friendly. It meets all of these criteria, however I think it would show best paired with beef. Thank goodness it is almost BBQ season!
Rachel Goudreau is a former pastry chef and now works as a sommelier at Provence Marinaside, one of Vancouver's best restaurants.