Posts Tagged ‘syrah’

What I Drank Last Month (Nov 2013) Part 1

by Nikki Lincoln

I had a very crazy November and although I didn’t have time to write, I definitely made sure to taste lots of amazing wines. I hadn’t realized just how many of the wines I had last month were truly spectacular until I had to back up all of my pictures on the eve of getting a new cell phone. I had to make sure all of my tasting notes were saved somewhere in case they didn’t transfer to the new phone and in the process I realized that I better get writing so I can share all of these things with you!

Once I got everything down, I realized it would be better for me to split this post into two so you can look forward to the second half next week!

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Kivelstadt 2011 Father’s Watch Red Blend

I tried my first Kivelstadt wine a few months ago at Hotel Biron. It was an amazing Rose of Mouvedre and I was excited to see that the winery made several other Rhone varietals. I was able to get some samples and was very excited to start trying them. The first of the bunch was the Father’s Watch Red Blend, a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Mouvedre, and Grenache. The wine had lovely pomegranate, earth, and leather flavors. It had a great balance of all of the varietals (which are some of my favorites on their own as well). The wine was quite light for a predominantly Syrah blend and was very enjoyable both on its own and with food. The Kivelstadt wines continue to impress me and I’m excited to crack into more of the samples.

Price: $26

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Alamos 2012 Torrontes

 
The Alamos Torrontes is another wine I received as a sample. I had been very impressed with the Malbec when I had tried it a few months ago and was looking forward to trying more of their Argentinian style wines. When I decided to have a creamy soup for dinner one night, I knew I wanted to grab a bright, acidic wine to help cut the heaviness of the dish. The pear and green apple of this wine really had the crisp flavor that I was looking for and it paired wonderfully with what would have otherwise been a very heavy dinner.

Price: $13

 

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Fenestra 2012 Alvarelhão

I came across Fenestra at the TAPAS Tempranillo tasting and was happy to see that their wines included many Portuguese varietals in addition to Tempranillo. I had never heard of Alvarelhão and fell in love with it as soon as I tasted it. I bought a few bottles and after looking up their wines for this post, am really happy that I did. It seems as though they do not always sell the wine. If you happen across it, I would strongly suggest buying some.

The wine has a beautiful ruby color with tastes of blueberry, raspberry, plum, and cherry. The flavor intensifies with each taste, and truly is an amazing wine. I would really like to get out to Livermore and track down a few more bottles of this interesting varietal.

Price: $19.50

William Hill 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

20131105_210948I’m a sucker for traditions, no matter how small they might be. The rule is, if you’ve done it twice, it’s a tradition. One of my most persistent traditions is watching V for Vendetta every November 5th. Sometimes the date sneaks up on me and I have to push the movie back a day or two but luckily there are usually plenty of Facebook reminders to make sure I don’t miss it all together.

I decided to pair this bold movie with an equally robust wine and went with a sample of the William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine had a bright red fruit flavor with dark cherry and blackberry as well. I also picked up a lot of the oak flavor from the barrel which added a nice spice touch. The wine felt very appropriate for fall and was perfect for my movie watching.

Price: $40

What I Drank The Last Few Weeks (Sept 23-Oct 27)

by Nikki Lincoln

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Here’s another post with my recent wine reviews for your enjoyment! I’ve been trying to get some notes together on a few tasting nights I had recently had but for now, here’s my usual post of the interesting wines I’ve gotten to try recently.

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Townley 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, The Shizzle, Napa Valley

I had a lot to celebrate a few weeks ago when I learned that I passed my WSET Level 2 Exam with Merit. The test was harder than expected so I was very happy to hear that I had one of the highest scores and I knew I needed to open something special. Last post, I wrote about the Townley Pinot. Since I loved that one so much, I thought I would open the Townley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which is appropriately named “The Shizzzle.” The wine is very tannic with deep blackberry flavors. It’s definitely a BIG wine and felt appropriate for a big accomplishment. I paired it with a little bit of a lamb stew and it just felt like an appropriate fall meal. The wine was still very good the next day and maintained much of its big, bold flavor. If you love bold reds, this is a great wine for you.

Price: $75

 

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Red Rock® 2012 Menoza Malbec

One of the routines I’ve been really wanting to set up is a good workout pattern. After a couple of weeks at the new job, I made semi-weekly rock climbing dates with a couple of friends. Now that I’ve gotten my work and commute routine set more and my personal life is steady, I’ve also been adding in extra workout routines and it’s been great. Every Wednesday I go climbing with a friend and as such, I tried to leave work on time so I could meet my friend in time. Somehow I managed to get on the wrong train not once, not twice, but three times. Eventually I made it to the gym to meet my friend for our climb and we stayed after and did a leg workout. Needless to say, when I got home I was ready for a big glass of wine and healthy dinner. I was happy that I had some leftover steak w/mushrooms, kale w/ bacon, and mashed sweet potatoes. I thought a nice, hearty red would go well with my dinner and decided to open a sample wine that I had recieved: the Red Rock 2012 Malbec.

The wine had a bold, tart cherry flavor with some prune as well as earthy notes. I also picked up some boysenberry. It paired beautifully with my food and the berry flavors complemented the red meat wonderfully. I like to consume as many different colors as possible in a meal and the bold red really helped round out my dinner. It was a wonderful way to relax after a long commute and a strenuous workout

Price: $13.99

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Bonny Doon 2012 Vin Gris de Cigare

William introduced me to some Bonny Doon wines as part of my Jedi Wine training and as such, I get really excited when I see them on wine lists or in wine shops. On my last trip to  LA, this was no exception. I went out to James Beach in Venice Beach with some coworkers for some famous fish tacos and was happy to learn that a number of the wines were half off for a bottle. This brought them down to their retail level and was a steal. Since my co-workers know about my wine adventures, I was tasked with picking a bottle and once I saw the Bonny Doon 2012 Vin Gris, I knew what I was getting.

The Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Cinsault blend had freshfreshing grapefruit, blood orange, strawberry, and cranberry notes. It was a lovely wine for a warm Venice night and the pale salmon color looked great against the beach sunset.

Price: $16

 

 

Copolla Sofia Blanc de Blanc Mini

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Last Friday was Champagne day and, of course, I didn’t realize it until day of. I sadly didn’t have any champagne at home and there was none at the Halloween party I stopped by at. On any other day, I probably could have justified running to the store for a bottle but I was running a race the next day and I didn’t want to tempt myself with drinking the whole bottle. I’ve messed up many a race by having more than “just one drink” the night before so I decided to open up one of my Sofia mini’s – single servings of the Coppola sparkling wine. Although it wasn’t true champagne, I still had fun drinking my little can of sparkling wine in solidarity and I didn’t drink so much that I had a hard time with my race the next day. I actually really love these little cans of wine. They’re easy to throw into a purse and people always get a kick out of them. As someone who doesn’t really drink beer, they make a nice alternative if you feel that your alcoholic beverage needs to come out of a can.

Price: $5 each or $20 for a box of 4

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Campovida 2007 Fairbairn Ranch Syrah

Last Saturday, I participated in the NorCal Warrior Dash. I have a bit of an athletic side that I don’t show here too much. That athletic side, however, does not encompass running. I try to sign up for races sometimes that have other obstacles and things (which as a climber, I really enjoy) to encourage me to run more. So after a long morning of uphill running, obstacles, and wading through mud, I was excited to go to a Halloween party and bring a really nice bottle of wine.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a beautiful wedding at the beautiful Campovida Vineyard a couple of months ago. I had several glasses of the Syrah and was excited to go back the next day and pick up a bottle of that and the rosé that was so popular at the rosé tasting this summer. While browsing through my collection, I really wanted to open a nice bottle of wine and as soon as my eyes landed on the Syrah, I knew what I was grabbing. The wine had a lovely dark berry flavor with hints of oak and smoke. It was the perfect way to celebrate post race and was very popular at the party as well.

Price: Not listed but I believe it was in the $35 range

 

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Las Rocas 2012 Rosé

I knew my Sunday would be spent relaxing my legs after all of that running. I spent most of the day at a bottomless mimosa brunch and in the evening, I decided to continue my relaxation with a bottle of Las Rocas Rosé that I’d had chilling.

The super light cranberry, lemon, and raspberry notes were a great end to my weekend. For an inexpensive Rosé, this wine was dry and had a great, light flavor. It is definitely something I would buy again.

Price: $10

And with that… Happy Halloween everyone! Is there a particularly frightening wine you plan on enjoying tonight?

What I Drank Last Week (May 12-18)

Since I promised a post a week, I thought sharing what I'm drinking each week would be a good way to show you what I enjoy in between the bigger posts I'm working on. I'll try to go into a bit more detail on any wines I particularly enjoyed but also just brush over my week in general.

Dark Horse Red Blend

Dark Horse Red Blend

I started off the week by testing out a sample that I had received.  I could see this wine being a good choice for anyone who wants a flavorful red wine that also feels like a good everyday drinking wine. While I like to spoil myself with my wine selections sometimes, I also don't always want to open the most expensive bottles so it's nice to keep some more affordable choices on hand. The wine had a deep berry flavor without being overpowering. However, I would only recommend it to someone who is a fan of big reds.

Part of the reason I also chose this wine was because I thought the name was fun. I spent a good part of the week having Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog stuck in my head and found the name Dark Horse to be very tempting. One of the minor characters in the musical is named Bad Horse and so drinking a wine with a similar name seemed like a fun choice. In fact, after writing about this wine and finding the above links, I have the songs stuck in my head again and will probably spend the rest of the day listening to the musical on repeat.

Cost: Unknown but other Dark Horse wines have gone for $8-10

2010 Imagery Sangiovese

I have a bit kamagra plus of a soft spot in my heart for Imagery wine. A good friend works there so I make frequent trips to the winery and am always shown a great time. So when I had a couple of friends over to watch the How I Met Your Mother season finale and they requested a light red – I knew opening the Imagery 2010 Sangiovese would be a good choice. True to form, the wine was light but flavorful. I think it could have used a little more time in the bottle, which, admittedly, I had been told. Next year I will remember to hold onto it a little bit longer.

While we are on Imagery, there is something else that I love about their wine (which all of my friends have heard me gush about too many times). As someone who dabbles in art, I have a huge appreciation for the Imagery labels. Imagery allows artists to submit artwork for consideration for their label. The only rule is that the Parthenon has to appear somewhere in the piece.  This allows for the unique combination of each wine having a uniquely beautiful and artistic label, but with the fun touch of trying to find the hidden Parthenon. Every time I open a bottle, I spend a few minutes appreciating the artwork and looking for the Parthenon. It's a fun touch.

Cost: $39

2009 Enkidu Humbaba

By the time Friday rolled around, I was looking forward to a more low key evening. I had heard it was Sauvignon Blanc day so I made sure to stick one in the fridge before going shopping with a friend for a couple of hours. However, when I got home to try it, I didn't love it. I decided after a long week, I deserved to open something I knew I would like… and the Humbaba had been staring at me from the wine rack for long enough.Enkido Humbaba

The Enkidu Humbaba had been purchased a few months earlier at the 8th Street Winery tasting event. It was the first place we stopped and the first wine I tried. Although my group scolded me for tasting out of order, I had a feeling about this wine and I was right. After trying the other Enkidu wines, I was still smitten with the Humbaba and knew I had to have a bottle. While I would have normally loved to hold onto it for a special occasion, I also realized that sometimes just letting yourself enjoy something you love is occasion enough.

The wine itself is a very light Syrah (Syrah (55%), Petite Sirah (42%), and Marsanne/Roussanne/Grenache Blanc (3%)) blend. I wanted something that would provide a good contrast to the Sauvignon Blanc from earlier without being too bold. The Humbaba ended up being a perfect compromise. The wine is very gentle on the tip of the tongue with the flavors changing throughout the mouth making it a very complex wine to taste. I had half of the bottle leftover on Saturday and it held up very nicely the second day as well. I definitely want to track down a couple more bottles to see how the flavor develops over time.

Cost: $28

Everything Else

Chateauneuf-de-PapeI'm still getting used to what this new role means for me in terms of everyday drinking and so I've still yet to figure out a polite way to store my tasting notes when out to dinner or out with friends. I'm a little sad that I didn't do that last week when I was out to dinner as I had the privilege to try my very first Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I did stop and think enough about getting a picture for posterity but didn't capture any more details than that.

I'm looking forward to sharing this week's wine adventures with you! My mom will be in town and I always love sharing new wines with her. My mom is a classic Chardonnay drinker and a fan of wines of the $2 variety so I really enjoy showing her new things. My favorite line from her last visit: “I love drinking your wine because I don't get hangovers.”  Are there any suggestions for my mother-daughter weekend?

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South African Wine Night

I recently took a trip to South Africa, and as wine lovers are apt to do, I filled my suitcase with wine sleeves so that I could bring a taste of Africa back with me. Of course, as wine lovers are also apt to do, there was more wine purchased than wine sleeves brought and I had to wrap a few bottles in towels…

Once I got my little stash of wine safely across a few continents, I planned a night to have some wine loving friends over to help me drink a few of them. I thought it would be cool to set it up as a real tasting – pouring a splash of each wine for my friends so they could taste them without overwhelming their palettes. Ironically, I had so many people choose to come that viagra australia a splash of each was all that ended up being available anyways.

Beau Constantia

Beau Constantia Panoramic

The first wine we had was the only white I brought back, Beau Constantia's 2012 Cecily. A light, crisp Viognier that I got to enjoy on a beautiful day at the winery. I am normally not a fan of Viognier. It's a little too light and sweet for me but the day I had it in South Africa was absolutely perfect. The winery was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen, tucked away in the hills of the Constantia wine region. Having such a light wine was incredibly refreshing as my years living in San Francisco has made me unsuited for anything warmer than 80 degrees (you'd never believe I grew up in LA). Enjoying the wine on a much Beau Constantia Posecooler evening in my apartment and being able to share it with my friends while showing them photos of the Beau Constantia estate really brought back those sentiments . It was definitely a great wine to transport all of my friends to Africa and prep our palettes for the reds we were about to taste.
The second wine was a red blend also from Beau Constantia. The 2010 Pas de Nom is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. This made it the lightest of the reds that we would be trying that evening. It was a crowd pleaser and the lightness of the wine made it a great transition to wine number 3. The wine went wonderfully with the chili spiced African jerky I also had out for my friends. It was also a good wine for my friends who tend to prefer whites. However, the winning comment on the wine was that the beard on the label looked just like Brian Wilson's Fear the Beard beard and that I needed to hang onto it…

Kleinood

Wine #3 had us leaving Constantia and heading to Stellanbosch. Although I wanted to go from lightest to boldest in my wine order, I knew that I loved wine #3 more than #4 and so I switched them up as to appreciate the flavor more before we started getting tipsy (I haven't gotten to spitting yet…).  The third wine was from the last place I went wine tasting in Africa and it was a winery my friends and I kind of stumbled on. Aside from the shuttle taking us between Cape Town and Stellanbosch, we didn't have a way to get around and the Kleinood winery just happened to be across the street from the one we came from which made it pretty much perfect at that point. This was the end of a long day and we knew that we would probably appreciate any wines we were able to get a taste of.
The Kleinood Tamboerskloof 2008 Syrah ended up being my favorite wine of the day. I had been finding that many of the South African wines were a little lighter than I usually prefer (something that William is trying to change) and that most of my favorites had been the Syrahs. However, in the month between my trip and my tasting party, I'd already started learning to appreciate more delicate reds and was starting to find many Syrahs to be sweet and syrupy. I was a little nervous to try this wine, afraid that the “last wine you taste is always the best” motto was true AND that my palette had adapted to no long appreciate the same kind of Syrah. I was very happily mistaken. It turned out the last wine I'd tasted actually had been the best. It was not sweet or jammy but instead had a complex blend of peppery flavors that developed with each taste. Even my Pinot loving friend Scott commented on how remarkable this red was. I was so sad I only had the one bottle!
The Kleinood winery also offered us an olive oil tasting (in fact all of the wineries in Stellanbosch offered some other tasting which was a great bonus). Although it was a little odd to sip on olive oil, it ended up being amazing, even on its own. In Africa, I remember it being a bit spicy. The taste at home didn't seem to have as much of the red pepper flake taste that I remember but I could still feel a bit of the heat on the back of my throat. Not all of my guests agreed however, and I imagine the bottle I bought was a bit milder. In any case, I know it will go great over salad or some spaghetti squash and I'm excited
to use it.

Waterford

Waterford Pose

The last wine was from one of the larger and more well known estates I visited on my trip. I saw Waterford's wines at many of the restaurants I visited and it had been recommended to me as the tasting also has a chocolate pairing. This sounded fantastic to me! All in all though, there was only one wine I liked enough to bring home, which was the 2008 Kevin Arnold Shiraz. This Shiraz was much softer than the Syrah we had tasted shortly before it and while I knew it might have been better to have reversed the order, the stark comparison really made the difference more distinct.
Waterford Chocolate Tasting
This Wine also had a chocolate to pair with it. I had brought back a few bars of the Rose Geranium, Chai Masala, and Rock Salt flavored bars. The Rose Geranium had been my favorite chocolate from the trip but no one else really loved it. The Rock Salt was a huge hit but the pieces I broke up didn't all have salt in them. A friend had the great idea to sprinkle a bit more on top and this was absolutely amazing. The Chai Masala was also very delicious but didn't seem to garner any strong opinions either way despite being the chocolate designed to pair with the Shiraz.

Everything Else

Most of my friends had trickled out at this point which was sad because I remembered that I had a bottle of Amarula in my fridge. Amarula is South African liquor that I described as hazelnut + Bailey's.  We dubbed it the Nutella of creme based liquors (it actually does not have nuts though but is made from the South African marula fruit). My friends loved it and said that it definitely rivals Bailey's in flavor. I had to keep them from drinking the whole stash! I'm hoping I can find it at a liquor store around here since it really is just delectable.
Having my wine tasting night and now writing about it really just brings back how fun wine tasting was in South Africa. It's so interesting to see how wine varies around the world and getting to share some of that made the experience even richer. My only regret is that I didn't bring back a Pinotage so I could have shared and remembered a South African varietal. However, I do still have 2 bottles left from one of the older estates I visited – Groot Constantia. I can't wait to open those up and see how they measured up to ones I've already opened.

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Pssst – Syrah Isn't Dead: Tasting Notes: 2009 Bonny Doon 'Les Pousseur' Syrah

I am back! Finally catching up after  Eighteen days in Europe – Denmark, Portugal, and the balance in France – with glorious tastings in Chablis and the Northern Rhone, where Syrah is the red grape of choice (and AOC law.)735647_10151546326060116_1106385922_o

For those of how to find reputable canadian cialis you still snickering over Syrah, cracking pneumonia jokes etc – move on. Syrah's Darwinist down phase is over -  Moscato or some other 'varietal great white hope' is next.

In truth, this 'market correction' was needed. Way too much bad syrah was being made, as well as planted in wrong places everywhere.

People and places that had no business being in Syrah are gone. Good riddance. The strong have survived. Incredible syrahs, especially from cool climate are in

high demand, and increasing in price, from small, talented, cult producers.

Pining For The Northern Rhone

I spent a week in the Northern Rhone, with 12 deep, technical tastings,  my glass graced with some of the Rockstars of the Northern Rhone: Gangloff, Faury, Allemand, to name a few.

My first week back, as a sanity check, I popped open a bottle from Randall Grahm, the US veteran Rhone Ranger. How would his modest priced Rhone  – Syrah offering fare?

(PS – Randall – they love you over there.)

Tasting Notes: 2009 Bonny Doon 'Les Pousseur' SyrahSYR09C_bottle_250pxh

At 13.5% alcohol, Mostly/all Neutral oak (thats my guess), solid acid/pH numbers, and most importantly, great flavor profile,  Bonny Doon delivers the CA syrah goods at an every day price point.

  • To The Eye: inky deep purple, reminiscent of Cornas, no light shall pass!
  • On The Nose: Smoked meat, black olive tapenade, modest black fruits.
  • In The Mouth: Well balanced. Dark black fruit, bacon notes, savory notes, good texture and soft tannins.

This is a rock solid syrah. BDV “Doon' Members get this at a meager $21. Thats Syrah you can enjoy on a weeknight and feel great about.

This wine is officially sold out and the tasting room is selling the new 2010, but there is some online to buy

and its in some retail channels still.  Grab some now! (I just re-ordered.)

Notes from Randall:

I don't usually wholesale plagiarize a wine makers notes – but no one says it like Randall. How can you not love this man's words?!

“La syrah,” the French say—syrah is deeply and elementally feminine—is perfumed elegance. Enchanting and capitvating rather than overpowering, it disarms by its strangeness. Like Borge's Zahir, syrah makes an indelible impression. One will wander the world till the end of one's days, its sublime, haunting fragrance gradually displacing all thoughts and memories, including the knowledge of one's own name.

Oh those Europeans and European-styled wines! Initially very closed when you first meet them. Air (and time) lures them out of their protective cocoon.

Our ’09 Syrah “Le Pousseur” is named for an alchemist and trickster, but is withal an incredibly accessible wine, great by the glass but also a felicitous partner to all manner of roasted meats, poultry, game, wild mushrooms, and well aged cheeses.

Wine Geek Info:

  • Varietal Blend: 100% syrah
  • Appellation: Central Coast
  • Vineyards: 56% Alamo Creek, 32% Bien Nacido, 12% Chequera
  • Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
  • TA: 0.58 g/L
  • pH: 3.73
  • Serving Temp: 55-60ºF
  • Cellaring: 5+ years from release (May 2012)
  • Production: 1200 cases
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Tasting Notes: 2009 Louis Barruol Côte-Rôtie 'Les Roses' (Syrah)

The Northern Rhone is my favorite wine region in France, I have been enjoying tasting through its regions prior to my upcoming trip there.

This is the land of cool climate Syrah, of which Côte-Rôtie is the most well known.

The first night quic

kly sampling this was pleasant, but didn't have that 'ooh' factor I want in a $60 Côte-Rôtie. Fortunately the second night, it improved.

I can't agree with the comments on CellarTracker from a year ago of too much oak or new world style. But its a year later it could have integrated some. If anything the wine was a bit simple
prior to some air. And at 12.5% alc not over done or over ripe.

Its still young (obviously) and improves with aeration, and will do so bottle aging.
It was also more aromatic night two. Also

interesting as I changed to a larger Riedel stem, more oak was prevalent on the nose.

Tasting Notes: 2009 Louis Barruol Côte-Rôtie 'Les Roses'

  • To The Eye: Dark purple color, unfiltered.
  • On The Nose: (Varied greatly by stemware bowl size – tried 3 different size Riedels.) Violets, White pepper, smoked meat.
  • On The Palate: Black fruits, olive notes, meaty notes; a finish of mocha, with some structure, and a good finish.

Imported by Kermit Lynch. Not a value buy at $60, but a fair price for Cote Rotie. I'd cellar if purchased.
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Tasting Notes: 2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Syrah

Yes, reviews and tasting notes are back! With the 2012 harvest behind me, its time to get back to sharing tasting notes. (Note that even when I don't post regularly here, you

can still regularly find my notes on Cellartracker.

Rhoning With Ridg

e

I was in love with this Syrah when I had it earlier this year, and am in love again now, wish I had bought a case instead of 2 bottles. It is sold out, I have to admit. This release is a hit each year, and doesn't last long. The 2007 is available now, and I intend to taste and buy a few this weekend.

Generally my Syrah palate leans towards cool climate Syrah, that have a different flavor profile, are leaner, and lower in alcohol, but the Ridge is an example that Syrah from warmer regions like Dry Creek can still be (very) appealing to those with cool climate biased palates.

This Syrah is bolstered I believe, in part, because it hs 8% Viognier, co-fermented, Cote Rotie style.

Tasting Notes: 2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Syrah, Dry Creek Valley

  • To The Eye: A deep inky purple
  • On The Nose: wonderful aromatics; notes of blueberry & violets, supporting stronger notes of black fruit, dried fruit, many layers.
  • In The Mouth: Layered dark fruit, with both silky texture and structure. Great acidity that integrates beautifully. Black fruit and smoked meat on the front palate, silky red fruit mid palate, and then and incredible lingering finish that is full of fruit and acid, that slowly fades off the tongue over 30-60 seconds.

At 14.4% alcohol, it is modest, and balanced. Typical of Ridge, this wine has a decade + of aging potential, but cheap cialis online is highly enjoyable now.
A gem of a wine, that any wine lover can find something to appreciate, and fairly priced at 34 dollars. 92 points

It was enough to make my finally buckle and join the Ridge Wine club.

Taste Rhones in New York Next Week, Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser

If you are in New York, next Wednesday you can taste Ridge, and 30 other Rhone Ranger producers at City Winery New York. The Rhone Rangers will be making donations to the Red Cross relief effort. See details at: What Hurricane? Rhone Rangers Ride to NYC Nov 7th – Details, Relief Efforts, Promo Code & Ticket Contest #RRNY

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Wine of The Week: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah (or Wow!)

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

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Tasting Notes: 2007 Vice Versa Syrah Ulises Valdez Vineyard, Russian River Valley

My first Syrah

from Vice Versa, and sadly maybe the last for awhile, as they have stopped producing this Russian River Syrah.

The wine is a perfect Napa meets Sonoma crossover – its cool climate RRV Syrah, matched with a Napa Cab maker of finesse, which is Vice Versa’s ‘core’ program. Long corks, heavy elegant Burgundy glass, it’s certainly Napa grade packaging and marketing.

When I popped the cork and poured it into the glass, I suspected I would

like this unfined, unfiltered beast that appeared to be be dark, brooding, and promising.
Buy our Wines

 

Tasting Notes: 2007 Vice Versa Syrah Ulises Valdez Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Courtesy of Vice Versa Facebook page

 

  • To The Eye: Impenetrable to light, inky black purple.

 

  • On The Nose: Layered nose of smoked meat, blackberry, leather, mocha, and a subtle note of earth.

 

  • In The Mouth: A beefier Syrah, with the body to support the balanced 15% alc, as well as acidity. Modest oak has had time to integrate into the wine, and provide sweeter tannins, that combine with dark black fruits, pepper to make a Syrah with backbone, but isn’t a fruit bomb.

 

Bigger red wine drinkers, not looking for “Shiraz” will love this. But don’t wait, must call the winery to purchase, and its the last of its kind.  Contact the winery and see cialis prices if you can get some of the <50 cases left.

Best served with grilled lean meats like fillet, lamb, or perhaps game. 91 Points. Media Samplebuy cialis australia

Wine of The Week: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah (or Wow!)

Syrah is an interesting varietal that I believe is emerging from

its dark period. Darwinistically most of the “weak” or buying real viagra without prescription the trend chasers who followed the inane idea that Syrah was the next craze have gone on to do other things, and serious growers a

nd producers are now left.

So much Syrah has been replanted or budded over, I expect over the next few years we will see a shortage, and Syrah prices regain lost price footing. This is not an industry to chase trends, especially for red wines, I wonder how many learned their lesson?

At the end of April is the unparalleled Rhone immersion, in Paso Robles: Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines.” Syrah of this caliber and profile will be one of the wine styles I will be seeking out and reporting back on.

Cool Climate vs Warm Syrah

As I have written before, one of Syrah’s “problems” with consumer identity is that it produces two very different wines, when grown in warm climates like Dry Creek Valley, versus cool climates like Russian River or Sonoma Coast.

Warm climate Syrah has more lush fruit, berry flavors, is usually higher in alcohol and tends to be popular with the average wine consumer. Cool climate Syrah is leaner, lower in alcohol, with notes of white pepper, olive, minerality – and is generally more appreciated by the more serious aficionados. Many wine consumers and even wine makers will observe their palate change and evolve over years, often to the leaner cool climate style. There is nothing wrong with either of course, but consumers buying Syrah should pay close attention to where its from.

Certainly in France, the focus for the most lauded Syrah comes from Northern Rhone, cooler Côte-Rôtie region, where most Syrah is under 14% alcohol and balanced. I was quite amazed and pleased to hear from several vintners in Châteauneuf-du-Pape during my recent trip there, that they don’t like a lot of Syrah in their blends as they don’t like what it does

in the Southern Rhone, and were slowly supplanting Mourvedre, which does very well in the heat there and ripens more slowly.

 

Petrichor Vineyards

Thank heavens for the big Rhone Rangers tasting last Sunday (and Social Media). It’s ironic that Petrichor is quite nearby, and that Margaret Foley and I are Facebook friends, but had never met. She was kind enough to give me a bottle.

Courtesy of Petrichor Vineyards Website

When I went to the website and learned their winemaker was Duncan Meyers of cult producer Arnot Roberts, I knew I was in trouble.

Arnot Roberts produces wines of amazing balance and restraint, that I wish I could afford to consume daily.

 

Wine Review: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah, Sonoma County

2009 Petrichor Estate Les Trois

I will cut to the chase and say this is simply a stunning Syrah, one of my new favorites. There wasn’t a lot of vinifcation information on the website, but I could glean that only a 140 cases of this gem produced, a blend of 86% syrah, 14% Grenache.

I feel confident much if not all of the fruit is cool climate, but since it says “Sonoma County” that means its been sourced from a variety of places that don’t have enough percentage to name an AVA, like Russian River Valley, or Sonoma Coast. Or perhaps they just preferred not too. They do have their own vineyard of 8,000 Syrah and Grenache vines, but its unclear when it was planted or what percent is in the wine. Any use of oak in this beyond neutral, seems minimal, and certainly complimentary.

To The Eye: The color is a deep purple, impenetrable to light, without tech sheets, I feel comfortable guessing unfined and unfiltered knowing the heritage of the winemaker .

One The Nose: A wonderful blend of earth, smokey meat, olive brine, red fruit and raspberry, hint of ocean salinity.

In the Mouth: Incredible. The aroma profile carries with saline and mineral notes that dance intermingled with white pepper, red & black fruit. Great supple structure that is elegant and soft, not over bearing, jammy, or puckering. Acidity that lingers and lifts up the wine. I’ll trade acid for tannins any day.

This wine proves again the benefits of cool climate, acidity, minimal-no new oak, in making wines that express themselves naturally.

Recommendation: I don’t lightly recommend a wine that approaches $50 but this is the real McCoy. Break open the piggy bank.

If you want to impress a true wine aficionado (and I don’t mean some Parker/Spectator score chaser who thinks Oak is the bomb) – buy this for a gift or bring to a dinner.

94 points. $48 – online.

 

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Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

Wine of The Week: David Girard 2009 Mourvèdre – A Pinot Lovers Mourvèdre

Tuesday Mar 20th – Join The Rhone Rangers and “SonomaWilliam’ for a Live Rhone Twitter Tasting 530-700 pm

Events for This Weekend and Two Routes for the Wine Road Barrel Tasting

Guest Post by Fred Swan

This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra

tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”http://www.wineroad.com/events/barrel_tasting/3#tabs-5″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.

There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:

(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )

Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only

Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?

Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.

From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.

On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.

From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.

Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.

For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)

 

Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab

Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:

Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.

Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.

Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.

Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.

Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.

Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.

 

Events

Lake County

Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!

 

Napa Valley

Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.

Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.

 

Sonoma County

34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.

Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.

Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

 

A Quick Plug:

The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn levitra viagra online more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at NorCalWine.com.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

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