Great White North: Gray Report Names Top 10 Northern Canadian Quaffers


Imbibe, aye!
Earlier this month, award-winning wine blog The Gray Report released its list of the 10 best wines from northern Canada, all of which, according to the post, are available to residents of the United States. 
“The best Canadian wines can definitely compete on the world stage,” the post said. “That said, unless you’re reading this in Calgary, you’ll probably never see them.” 
The Report’s list is based on the experience of writer W. Blake Gray, who was selected as a judge in the Northern Lands wine competition this past month in Edmonton. 
“There were enough entries – 823 red wines, 733 whites, 27 other – that each flight was judged by more than one panel on more than one day,” Gray wrote. “Every judge left Edmonton having tasted all the top awards winners, giving us all a survey of what’s going on up there in the Great White North.”
Gray then offered his general observations of the wines he tasted at the competition. Surprisingly, he said the country’s Syrah was killing it. 
“Syrah is the best red varietal being made in Canada right now,” he said. “Not only did a Syrah deservedly win overall Best Red Wine; its runner-up could probably have won as well.” 
Gray noted that Canada’s white wines are limited to Rieslings; he chose a Pinot Gris for first place and a Chardonnay for second place. 
Furthermore, he said, oenophiles can find great bargains within the Canadian wine world. 
“Top Canadian wines are good values,” he wrote. “Of the 20 wines I rated 90 points and higher, four were under $20, only three were over $33, and none cost more than $40. And that’s Canadian money.”
Gray then proceeded to reveal his list, which included seven reds – three Syrahs, a Cab Franc, two Merlots and a Pinot Noir – and three whites: a pair of Pinot Gris offerings and a Chardonnay.
Lake Breeze Vineyards’ Okanagan Valley Pinot Gris 2014 was Gray’s choice for the top white wine of the competition.
“Delicate and floral on the palate,” Gray noted. “I voted for this nicely balanced wine as Best White, and I’m not normally a big Pinot Gris advocate.”
The Road 13 Vineyards Jackpot Okanagan Valley Syrah took the title of Best Red. The wine confounded Gray.
“We tasted this a few times and I wavered between loving it, merely liking it, and really loving it,” he wrote. “The aroma is alluring: peppery, earthy, with dark plum and hints of wildflowers, probably from the 2% Viognier.” 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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