Posts Tagged With: Syrah

Quick Sip – 2008 K Syrah “Pheasant”—Wahluke Slope

2008 K Syrah “Pheasant”—Wahluke Slope

Wine Facts –

Appellation: Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla Washington

Vineyard: Pheasant; sandy, gravelly soil

Grapes: 100% Syrah

Fermentation: native yeasts

Ageing: 100% French oak, 30% new

Production: 193 cases

Price: $35

My Tasting Notes –

Interesting start on the nose with smoky bacon, blackberry and plum followed up on the palate by fig, date, more blackberry and olive notes. Layers of black pepper and an unidentified meatiness kept showing up on the palate which was quite nice.  Full bodied, rich and spicy and very well integrated for just being released in April.


Categories: $30-$40, wine review, wine tasting | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Don’t be afraid to use your decanter!

I think the process of decanting wines is vastly under utilized by wine drinkers, including me, as even the most basic wine can benefit from a splash in another vessel. The 2006 Ojai Sryah ($29) on the other hand is a wine that NEEDED to be decanted. I was really looking forward to this wine and had big expectations, and was slightly let down by my first sip after about 20 minutes in the decanter. The first glass was good but wasn’t great, the fruit was still a little tight and underwhelming, not balancing with the structure of the wine. That all changed after an hour in the decanter. I mean, the 2006 Ojai Syrah literally exploded with rich dark fruit and black olive goodness.

The Ojai Vineyard website doesn’t offer much information on the vinification of this wine but mentions that they do blend in some Grenache and Mourvedre.

ojaisyrahMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: black currant, roasted meat, fresh strawberry

Taste: black currant, boysenberry, kalamatta olive, bacon and violet

Mouthfeel: full body with loads of black pepper spiciness, tannins were big and powerful but not overwhelming

Finish: long….

A good wine that becomes great after some air exposure and delivers a power packed punch of layered flavors and aromas. The meat notes accompanied by the kalamatta olive notes were unmistakable and were encapsulated by delicious dark berry flavors that went on for some time.


Categories: $20-$30, Syrah, wine review | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Fun Rosé – 2008 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah

Last night we made a quick dinner of “pork” barbecue (fake soy bbq of course) sandwiches with a side of mac n cheese, a dinner suited for a fun Rosé from say… Chile. The 2008 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah ($13.99) is made from 100% of the varietal, grown in the Colchagua Valley of Chile. Cherub, which means young angel, is fitting as the label dons a cartoon diapered angel representing Montes founding partner and beloved friend Alfredo Viadurre.

Aurelio Montes explains why he chose to make his Rosé from Syrah:

“I decided to make a rosé from Syrah grown in our Archangel Estate in Marchigüe, in the Colchagua Valley. Our vineyards here are in a coastal area which provides the perfect temperature and conditions for producing a lovely, ripe rosé. I chose Syrah because this grape has a wonderful purple-red color and gives fresh yet structured wines that can be enjoyed as an apéritif or with food”

montescherubQuick Wine Facts –

Appellation: Archangel Estate, in Marchigüe, located only 11 miles (18 kms) from the Pacific Ocean in the highly reputed Colchagua Valley

Oak Aging: None

Yield of Vineyard: 8 tons per hectare (about 1.9 tons per acre)

Grape Variety: Syrah 100%

My Tasting Notes –

Color: deep pink almost ruby

Nose: strawberries, raspberry jam, quince paste

Taste: strawberry, orange peel, Rosé , fuji apple

Mouthfeel: full body, dry and crisp

Finish: long, fruity, with a hint of minerality but mostly refreshing red fruit

Fun but serious Rosé that got right down to business with it’s deep rich pink color and very aromatic nose of classic strawberry and raspberry. Paired very nicely with the food, and would be great with the plethora of foods that arrive at summertime cookouts. Chill it down a little be extra and it would be a great dry wine for enjoying on a hot summer day or at the beach and the screw cap enclosure makes that even easier.


Categories: $10-$20, Rosé, wine review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Monday Quick Sip 2006 Eric Ross – Caties Corner Vineyard Syrah

er-06-lable-sycc_front22006 Eric Ross – Caties Corner Vineyard Syrah

Wine Info –

Grapes: Syrah with a small amount of Viognier (co-fermented)

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Vineyard: Caties Corner (Syrah) and Saralee (Viognier)

Price: $28

My Tasting Notes –

Nose: brambly wild blackberry, toasted hazelnut, raspberry puree, clove

Taste: black cherry, pomegranate, cassis and brown spice

Mouthfeel: full body, very lush with velvety smooth tannins

Finish: very long

The nose on this wine was incredibly powerful, we decanted it and the aromas were flowing out of the decanter like a flower vase. The wine was very big and full, yet the tannins were restrained to mouth enveloping “velvety-ness”. Loads of dark fruit and spice, this was a truly “yummy” wine. It doesn’t say on the website but I remember that the cases production on this was quite small, under 1000. Stop by the Eric Ross Winery in Glen Ellen California to give this Syrah a whirl.


Categories: $20-$30, Syrah, wine review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Quick Sip – 2005 Alderbrook Confluence

We picked up the 2005 Alderbrook Confluence at Alderbrook during our visit in November. Typically Confluence is only poured for wine club members but the tasting room associate hooked us up.

2005confluenceGrape Varieties – 60% Syrah, 40% Zinfandel

Aging – 15 months in French Oak (30% new)

Alcohol – 14.8%

Price – $30

My Tasting Notes –

Nose – prune, fig and espresso

Taste – boysenberry, prune, olive and cola

Mouthfeel – good acid, leathery tannins, slightly flat in the middle

Finish – long and dry with a very “clean” finish, red fruit flavors linger on the palate

A very nice wine that had a lot of the classic Zinfandel flavors, and the higher than average alcohol was not out of balance. Surprisingly it was a little watery and flat in the middle but up front it was full of rich dark fruit and nice espresso flavors. The back end was firm and griping, evidence of the predominant Syrah component, giving a long dry finish.

Although a bit pricey, it was quite good and comparable to other big name Zinfandels at similar price points.


Categories: $20-$30, Quick Sip, wine review | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Sip – 2006 Testarossa Subasio Syrah

Named for the mountain where the University of Assi located, which founder Rob Jensen attended, the Subasio is Testarossa’s flagship Syrah. Although the tasting notes on the website classified this as a blend of new and old world style, I found it to be mostly new world. I’m not saying that is bad, I knew what I was getting into when I bought it after a tasting at the winery, I just thought that the website description was a bit misleading.

2006-testarossa-subasio-syrahWine Facts

Vineyard Appellations – Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Russian River Valley

Oak program – 15 months

Winemaking – extended cold soak, gravity flow, both punch down and pump over

Grapes – 100% Syrah

Alcohol – 14.4%

My Tasting Notes

Nose – black cherry, black currant, cedar

Taste – toasted oak, blackberry and black cherry

Mouthfeel – full body, good acidity, and leathery full tannins

Finish – long and fruity

This was a very nice fruit forward, big Syrah. Although it was quite good, at $30 there are a lot of other California Syrahs that offer the same flavor profile for lower price points. Although the alcohol level was high, it  did not seem out of balance and the wine had a great mouthfeel with full tannins and good acid on the back end.

I have some Testarossa Pinot Noirs in the cellar from our visit as well and I can’t wait to try those, as they are their specialty.


Categories: $20-$30, california, wine review | Tags: , , | 2 Comments