Better known for its flagship Bordeaux-style red blend called Portfolio, Laughing Stock branched out into syrah in 2008 and quickly made a mark with the variety. Here the grape is blended with 6-per-cent viognier, an aromatic white, for a juicier profile, as is customary in the northern Rhône Valley, where syrah achieves its greatest magic. Full, smooth and polished, this beauty serves up blueberry, raspberry and classic French-syrah hints of white pepper and heated rubber. This 2011 took home gold at the National Wine Awards, a fine followup to the 2010, which won a coveted provincial Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence. Available direct from the winery.