La Frenz Winery Montage 2008

Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley
$22-26.  Available at the winery or select specialty liquor stores

I tasted this lovely red at last week’s Simply Red Naramata Bench tasting. All the new red releases from the Okanagan were on show, allowing guests first sip of the new season. Aptly named, Montage is a blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Rattlesnake Vineyard. This approachable wine shouts ‘drink me now!’ Why argue?  Especially when faced with cedar, plum and sweet cherry plush aromas, and medium bodied flavours of lush blueberry, dark chocolate, cassis and earthy brambles. Nice fine tannins and lengthy finish – that tastes like more.  Just right for these early days of fall.  Though, at this price, you can afford to buy a couple and lie them down for a few years – you’ll be rewarded.

La Frenz is operated by Jeff and Niva Martin, transplants from the Riverina area of Australia. Before coming to Canada Jeff worked at well-known McWilliams Winery for 14 years, and then landed at Kelowna’s Quails’ Gate for 5 years before starting cult-favourite La Frenz. While most people may be more familiar with their spectacular whites (Semillon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Alexandria and Chardonnay), they have a stunning lineup of gutsy reds as well – including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Malbec, Tempranillo (!) and a Bordeaux blend named simply – Grand Total Reserve.  **If you get a chance, don’t miss out on their delish fortified Liqueur Muscat NV – a Canadian first.

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Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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