November 7, 2008

Therapy Vineyards Marcus Ansems Shiraz 2006

This is one of our favorite places in the Okanagan. Therapy is just up the road from Kettle Valley in Naramata, and they really go to town on their branding with wine names such as "Freudian Sip", "Super Ego" and "Pink Freud". But there's more steak than sizzle here: all their wines are fantastic. Last year we made our annual pilgrimage to the valley, where we usually haul back a couple of cases back, choosing a bottle or two from each winery. Last year, we liked so much at Therapy we shipped a case.

Part of this case was the now-opened Marcus Ansems Shiraz 2006. It doesn't have the usual Rorschach-test inkblot label the winery is known for. In fact, when I pulled it off the shelf I was surprised to find it was from Therapy, which is only listed on the back label. For whatever reason, this one is branded differently.

When I was a kid we had a cottage in Muskoka, and I remember there were plenty of chokecherry bushes around. I don't recall ever seeing a chokecherry since. To me, chokecherry is like a small, bitter cherry, and this was the first thing that popped into my head sipping this wine. It's fairly "thin" for a shiraz, not jammy but with plenty of berry flavour and very dry. I think I'm getting some cloves too. Therapy's website's notes also reference black pepper (which I can see) and chocolate (which I can't, but that's just me).

I just finished a couple of slices of McCain Delissio pizza before uncorking this one. I'm guessing this shiraz would be appropriate for pretty much any food that would traditionally go with "red wine", probably something like a lamb roast would be great, but it didn't clash with the pizza either. I'm onto glass #2 and it keeps getting more interesting. This is a great wine.

If you ever get a chance to visit Naramata, I highly recommend you get some Therapy.

93 points. $32 from the vineyard's wine shop.

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