A vertical tasting of each vintage of an estate since its inception is rare, but in this case even rarer as the winery happens to be in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
Osoyoos Larose was created as a joint venture between Vincor (now Cosmopolitan Brands) and Groupe Tailan from Bordeaux.
The objective of the project was, and remains to produce one Bordeaux-style red wine based on merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petite verdot, and malbec.
The estate in southern Okanagan Valley contains 32 hectares of vineyards and was planted in 1998.
The first wine released in 2001 by the first winemaker Pascal Madevon, born, raised, and trained in Bordeaux. He was hired by Groupe Taillan to head the project.
I had tasted some of the releases, but this vertical tasting was an absolute revelation. This tasting provided an opportunity to see how Osyoos Larose wines evolved, and evolve over time pending on vintage and the blend.
It is worth to point out that all Osoyoos Larose wines are quasi organic, because the climate is very dry.
If you have an opportunity to stage a similar tasting, make sure to decant all bottles, some even twice and wait for at least 30 minutes, and preferably longer, pending on vintage.
Some, of the older vintages are still available from the winery.
Now Osoyoos Larose is one of the Vintages Essentials offerings and available throughout the year.
Le Grande Vin 2001
66 per cent merlot, 25 cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc 9.
Only 24000 bottles produced.
Although the vines were three years old at the time, the wine evolved well. Smooth, appealing mouth feel, refined and elegant with a superb finish.
Le Grande Vin 2002
57 merlot, 19 cabernet sauvignon, 7 cabernet franc, 5 petite verdot, 12 malbec.
30,650 bottles were produced.
Aromas of cassis, and cigar box dominate the nose. Full bodied. In
the mouth the wine offers a multitude of flavours and finishes well. A fine food wine
Le Grande Vin 2003
75 merlot, 11 cabernet sauvignon, 6 malbec, 5 petite verdot, 3 cabernet franc
118,200 bottles produced
A rich and opulent wine with aromas of cassis ands ripe berries. Full bodied and generous with a long and satisfying finish.
Le Grande Vin 2004
68 merlot, 21 cabernet sauvignon, 5 petite verdot, 4 cabernet franc, 2 malbec
111,000 bottles produced
Aromas of cassis waft out oft eh glass. In the mouth the wine offers blackberry and black currant flavours. Full bodied with a long finish.
Le Grande Vin 2005
67 merlot, 23 cabernet sauvignon, 4 cabernet franc, 4 petite verdot, 2 malbec
254,000 bottles produced
A “juicy” wine with depth and elegance. Well balanced, full-bodied. An excellent food wine especially with roasted rack of lamb, or roasted leg of lamb, or grilled lamb chops, or lamb stew.
Le Grande Vin 2006
69 merlot, 20 cabernet sauvignon, 4 cabernet franc, 4 petite verdot, 3 malbec
121,500 bottles produced
Aromas of plums dominate the nose. Full-bodied. A chewy wine that needs two to four years more cellaring to achieve its peak.
Le Grande Vin 2007
70 merlot, 21 cabernet sauvignon, 4 cabernet franc, 3 petite verdot, 2 malbec
Brilliant bright red in colour. Relatively high alcohol (13.5 ABV) offering cassis aromas, and mocha flavours on the palate. Elegant, well balanced with a long aftertaste.
Pair with hard cheeses, or beef stews, or roast rack of veal, or veal ragout.
Le Grande Vin 2008
60 merlot, 25 cabernet sauvignon, 7 cabernet franc, 5 malbec, 3 petite verdot
108,000 bottles produced
Plum aromas jump out of the glass. Well extracted, full-bodied. A refined wine with chocolate flavour and long and satisfying aftertaste.
Cellar fro five to six years for more refinement.
Le Grande Vin 2009
58 merlot, 26 cabernet sauvignon, 2 malbec, 7 petite verdot, 7 cabernet franc
96,000 bottles produced
Aromas of plums, blueberries and cedar. Well structured, full bodied with layers of plum and black currant flavours.
Decant at least two hours before tasting.
Should be cellared for eight to nine years.
Le Grande Vin 2010
67 merlot, 20 cabernet sauvignon, 6 petite verdot, 4 cabernet franc, 3 malbec
60,600 bottles produced.
Deep red. Full bodied. Well extracted, fruity, balanced with a long and satisfying aftertaste.
Cellar for four to five years for more refinement and smoothness.
If you decided to taste it sooner enjoy with medium-rare grilled sirloin steaks, or pan-fried filet of beef in a cream sauce.
Petales d’Osoyoos 2010
Is the second label of Osoyoos Larose and was introduced in 2007 to dispose of wines that are fine, but fail to meet the exacting standards of the grand vin.
Generally, Petales d’Osoyoos ages faster and can be enjoyed sooner than the grand vin.
It is always a well-made and well-balanced wine, even if it lacks the power and intensity of the grand vin.
The 2010 exudes plum and ripe berry aromas. In the mouth tannins become noticeable. Full bodied with good extract.
Needs three to four years of cellaring.
Visit the winery Osoyoos Larose.