Wine Collab of the Week: The Ryan Reynolds of Syrahs

L’Abattoir and Le Vieux Pin create a red that's equally handsome, charming and accessible.

While we’re blessed to have the connective technology that’s carried us through COVID, we’ve also all been stuck in a Zoom that could have been an email. Virtual meetings don’t always yield the best results. But what about a remote wine collab? Can the details required for creating an impressive custom bottle be communicated through a screen? L’Abattoir and Le Vieux Pin have the answer: hell yeah.

The Collab: L’Abattoir x Le Vieux Pin

A joint venture between one of Vancouver’s most-lauded restaurants and one of the Okanagan Valley’s most-lauded wineries, Le Vieux Pin 2020 Syrah Cuvée L’Abattoir is a custom bottling that tips its hat to the ethos and values of all involved. L’Abattoir chef and co-proprietor Lee Cooper employs French technique to our British Columbian bounty, and Le Vieux Pin winemaker Severine Pinte, the Syrah queen of Canada, well – she does the same thing!

This is the second vintage of this exclusive pour, the first created by shipping a zillion samples from different vineyard plots and winery barrel types to L’Abattoir GM Nick Bertoia and head sommelier Andrew Forsyth, back when we were in our first winter of deep ‘Don’t-Leave-Your-Health-Region’ COVID. Many a Zoom meeting and blending session occurred between the two sides to land on an eventual wine that quickly sold out. The boys were all set to pack bags Oliver-bound for round two this past winter, then along came Omicron. Samples were shipped, they all logged on, and long story short: we have ourselves another winner.

Why It’s Awesome

Pinte’s Syrahs are coveted across the country, so the ultra-limited-edition nature of the 50 cases made for L’Abattoir make it quite the catch. This ain’t no “house wine.” It’s an elegant take on the grape: think fine-tuned blackberries, blueberries and pomegranate, with fresh-cracked peppercorns and violets, all cradled by 16 months worth of neutral French oak. It’s equally handsome, charming, and accessible—a Ryan Reynolds of a wine; so very Vancouver. Having it poured for you by some of the savviest service staff in town at one of our most elegant spots? Priceless. (OK, fine—it’s 99 bucks a bottle, or $19 for a glass, but you know what I mean.)

How to Pair It

Chef Cooper’s signature dish is Steak Diane with broccoli, potato, bone marrow, and peppercorn. COME! ON! Seriously, though: a perusal through the menu finding gems like Peace Country lamb with Merguez sausage, olive, cauliflower and saffron or Thiessen Farm quail with foie gras, prune plum and farro show us why it’s practically a no-brainer that this collab is becoming an annual tradition.

This is the second in Kurtis Kolt’s series on local wine collabs: find the first edition here.