Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Report from ... 10 Years of "Portfolio" from Laughing Stock - November 25, 2014

Earlier this year I attended a ten year vertical tasting of the iconic Canadian producer in British Columbia, Osoyoos Larose ... Today another of BC's great contributors to the Canadian wine landscape showed 10 years of their wines.  Sitting down with owners David and Cynthia Enns to taste through the first decade of Laughing Stock Vineyards' iconic "Portfolio" (2003-2012), a, for the most part, 5 grape Bordeaux blend (save for the years 2003 and 2004).  This tasting showed that this winery on the Naramata bench can produce wine with just as much age-abilty and complexity as their neighbours to the south in Osoyoos.

Let's take a look ...

David and Cynthia Enns discuss the wines of their Laughing Stock Vineyards

Wines from the Original Naramata Vineyard ...

Portfolio 2003
64% Merlot / 33% Cabernet Sauvignon / 3% Cabernet Franc
Aroma:  Leather, earthy, tobacco
Palate:  Follows nose, smooth, but little to no finish and it's too woodsy and smoky
Other thoughts:  Nose really stinks but the palate intrigues ... drink up (ok+)
Portfolio 2004
55% Merlot / 35% Cabernet Sauvignon / 10% Cabernet Franc
Aroma:  Old fruit, dried cranberry, earthy
Palate:  Hard to get past the old, gamey, leathery flavours
Other thoughts:  Definitely not a favourite, bland and has aged poorly (ok)
Portfolio 2005
59% Merlot / 33% Cabernet Sauvignon / 3% Cabernet Franc / 4% Malbec / 1% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Woodsy and cassis
Palate:  Silky, woodsy, dried-sweet cherry, tannins still grip
Other thoughts:  First year to have all five grapes and it benefits from it (good)
Portfolio 2006
61% Merlot / 16% Cabernet Sauvignon / 16% Cabernet Franc / 5% Malbec / 2% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Subtle and quiet with pencil shavings and licorice
Palate:  Pencil shavings, smoky, cassis, anise seed, still has grippy tannins
Other thoughts:  This one sits right in the middle for me (good)
Portfolio 2007
56% Merlot / 25% Cabernet Sauvignon / 12% Cabernet Franc / 6% Malbec / 1% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Ripe cherry, plum, mocha and cassis
Palate:  Juicy with a sweetness of tobacco, plum, cherry, mocha and anise
Other thoughts:  One of my favourites before the addition of the Osoyoos fruit (good+)

Addition of the Osoyoos Fruit ...
In 2007 22 acres was purchased in Osoyoos which has been added into the wines in following years

Portfolio 2008
53% Merlot / 24% Cabernet Sauvignon / 12% Cabernet Franc / 9% Malbec / 2% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Smoky-tobacco, blackberry, cassis, black raspberry and meaty
Palate:  Richness of chocolate, black cherry, burnt coffee, vanilla,
tannins show real finesse toasty, tasty, deep and complex
Other thoughts:  When it comes to ranking these wines this one's in my top 3 (great)
Portfolio 2009
36% Merlot / 27% Cabernet Sauvignon / 22% Cabernet Franc / 14% Malbec / 1% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Cranberry, raspberry, cherry, nice red fruit and anise
Palate:  Cranberry, sour cherry, smoked-cherry,
shows tannin grit with woodsy, tobacco and smoke on the finish
Other thoughts:  Only wine in the line with higher portion of Franc (good)
Portfolio 2010
32% Merlot / 42% Cabernet Sauvignon / 6% Cabernet Franc / 18% Malbec / 2% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Mocha-cherry, plum with a touch of floral
Palate:  Cherry, chocolate, blackberry, cassis, vanilla, smoke and cinnamon;
rich and creamy with lots of depth and complexity
Other thoughts:  Ranks second on my top 3; the only one that's Cab Sauv dominated and has more Malbec than Franc (great+)
Portfolio 2011
42% Merlot / 32% Cabernet Sauvignon / 17% Cabernet Franc / 7% Malbec / 2% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Blueberry, cherry with hints of vanilla and cedar
Palate:  A little lean yet shows finesse, but the fruit seems restrained with acid and subtle tannins
Other thoughts:  This cooler vintage wine shows it with its leaner than usual palate (ok+)
Portfolio 2012
45% Merlot / 25% Cabernet Sauvignon / 22% Cabernet Franc / 7% Malbec / 1% Petit Verdot
Aroma:  Big, bold, black cherry, raspberry, blackberry, dark chocolate and vanilla
Palate:  Really follows the nose with a richness of dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, mocha,
black cherry, juicy with all that ripe fruit and generous of tannins
Other thoughts:  Top wine of the day, lush and sexy, simply gorgeous,
has the potential to age better than the 2001 (excellent)

The "Portfolio" wines
Thank you to David and Cynthia for sharing their stories and their wines.

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