Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

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Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:51 am

Cooler weather. Red wine? Syrah and Syrah blends, including but not limited to Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre (GSM).
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:19 am

Syrah would be good.
How about we also think South Africa but I am not sure of availability in some areas?
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:35 am

My favorite local shop has exactly 3 South African wines, none of them worth buying.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:44 am

What a pity David, I have a great selection here downtown. Just what you need after hiking in the Rockies!!
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:49 am

I actually prefer beer after a long hike, though the saskatoon berry cider was excellent as well.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Tim York » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:38 pm

Syrah (does that include Shiraz?) is fine by me. I have quite a few excellent examples in my cellar.

Someday it could be good to look at Merlot. It is the subject of a lot§ of prejudices and, indeed, It's not my favourite variety but as a blend partner in cool climates it can produce superb results.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:53 pm

Yes, the onset of Fall puts me in mind of game meat and game meat puts me in mind of Syrah. I've actually drunk a few '04 CA Syrahs last week as they were birthyear wines for my just-turned 8-year-old son. Plenty more to choose from in the cellar, though. :D

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Salil » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:43 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Cooler weather. Red wine? Something about Syrah?

Only if you're planning to help me drink some of the various Cornas or Cote-Roties I've been steadily accumulating. :)

I'll second the Syrah vote, though if people want alternatives, I'd also throw out red Burgundy - nice time of the year to be drinking, especially with the 2010s just hitting the shelves.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Dave Erickson » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:00 pm

Portugal. I was in a wine shop in Obidos a few days ago, and it was a humbling experience. There is so much new stuff from the Douro and especially Alentejo, and I don't know any of it. There really is a lot more to the place than port and vinho verde...
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:49 pm

No rush to do it, but I was thinking it might be fun to do a 'First loves' focus or Open Mike sometime.

The idea being that forumites taste wines that played a significant part in them getting into wine, but also to reflect on whether they still think the same of the wine all these years on. Maybe times change and the wine holds no appeal any more. Maybe the love has remained strong throughout the years. Maybe there might even be a rekindling of the old passion.

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:50 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:Portugal. I was in a wine shop in Obidos a few days ago, and it was a humbling experience. There is so much new stuff from the Douro and especially Alentejo, and I don't know any of it. There really is a lot more to the place than port and vinho verde...


Dave, where is Obidos? Guess in Portugal eh. Wonder if there is a website, you know my passion for Portugal!
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:27 am

I'm okay with Syrah but I think we have put off several times covering Tuscany. We've done other Italian regions but seem to skip over Tuscany.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:11 am

Though we just did Chianti.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Tim York » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:57 am

Ian Sutton wrote:No rush to do it, but I was thinking it might be fun to do a 'First loves' focus or Open Mike sometime.

The idea being that forumites taste wines that played a significant part in them getting into wine, but also to reflect on whether they still think the same of the wine all these years on. Maybe times change and the wine holds no appeal any more. Maybe the love has remained strong throughout the years. Maybe there might even be a rekindling of the old passion.

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I like this idea. It's perhaps for suitable for an OM because by its very nature it lacks focus.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:05 pm

I like the idea too, would be an interesting Open Mike. Plus the fact we have not had an OM of late.
Who would like to set it up??
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:15 pm

Hi Bob
Mihgt be one to give a month's notice, so that people can acquire some of their old faves. What about kicking it off for the start of November, but with a placeholder till then?
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:14 pm

Would Syrah blends qualify?
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:31 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:Would Syrah blends qualify?


We're not picky!
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:45 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Carl Eppig wrote:Would Syrah blends qualify?


We're not picky!

This sounds good to me. Syrah including Syrah blends which includes GSM. I could definitely find some wines to make me happy under those parameters. :mrgreen:
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:28 am

Now why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good Syrah by blending it with Grenache? :roll:

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:33 am

Bill Hooper wrote:Now why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good Syrah by blending it with Grenache? :roll:

Ask a bazillion producers in the Southern Rhone and Languedoc. :?
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Bill Hooper » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:41 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Bill Hooper wrote:Now why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good Syrah by blending it with Grenache? :roll:

Ask a bazillion producers in the Southern Rhone and Languedoc. :?


It is likely too warm to make exceptional single-varietal Syrah there. Why is it that there are 100% Grenache CDPs, but hardly any (or any at all that I know of -correct me if I'm wrong) 100% Syrah CDPs?

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Victorwine » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:21 am

Tradition. I would definitely think that with an increase in Syrah acreage the proportion of the Syrah percentage is on the rise. I don’t believe there is a stipulation in the rules and regulations of the CdP AOC governing allowable percentages. So technically any (single) varietal wine made in the region from any one of the 13 or so “allowable” grape varieties could be labeled CdP.

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Nominations Please

Postby Tim York » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Victorwine wrote:Tradition. I would definitely think that with an increase in Syrah acreage the proportion of the Syrah percentage is on the rise. I don’t believe there is a stipulation in the rules and regulations of the CdP AOC governing allowable percentages. So technically any (single) varietal wine made in the region from any one of the 13 or so “allowable” grape varieties could be labeled CdP.

Salute


Victor, some people consider that Syrah is an interloper in S.Rhône, Languedoc and Roussillon. Tradition certainly plays a part but I think that Syrah grown in such warm climates would tend to give wines too heavy and darkly fruited to appeal to the French palate (as far as one can generalise about that) without the blending of more long standing local varieties, particularly Grenache and Mourvèdre. However, there are some strongly Syrah weighted blends in Languedoc grown at higher altitudes which give very elegant results; Alquier's Faugères Les Bastides springs to mind and I hope to open one in October.

New Zealand wine critic, Geoff Kelly, who seems to have a French type palate, analyses the changing taste profile of Syrah according to ripeness in the following way -

Syrah is not that difficult to suss, if in judging it, more attention is paid to the bouquet of the wine, rather than the taste (as it should be, if subtleties are to be captured). Syrah as it ripens towards optimal physiological flavour maturity passes through a sequence of aroma analogies which can be summarised on bouquet as:
green and stalky
--> leafy
--> leafy and leafy / floral
--> red currants and suggestions of dianthus florals ± white pepper
--> cassis / black currants and sweetly floral dianthus / wallflower / buddleia notes ± white pepper grading though to black pepper
--> cassis grading through dark plums ± blueberry to black plums, plus freshly-cracked black peppercorn and spice, the florals now darker (red roses, violets) and progressively becoming attenuated
--> bottled black plums ± blueberry, still ideally with cracked black peppercorn tapering out
--> bottled black plums and blackberry mixed
--> boysenberry.
Beyond that the wines become more and more pruney and grossly over-ripe, as so much Aussie shiraz was in the '60s and '70s (and some still are in the ‘00s).

Perfect ripeness / maximum complexity for syrah is where florals, pepper and spice, cassis and dark plums are all equipoised. These wines, as from Cote Rotie and Hermitage, epitomise the syrah wine-style. Above this point is sur-maturité, and the wines progressivly merge into the shiraz wine-style. On this scale, virtually all Australian shiraz (except some of the exciting wines from Western Australia and cooler Victoria) falls into the boysenberry category, and thus clearly over-ripe. Hence the oak fetish in recent decades in Australia, to restore some kind of spurious 'complexity' to bouquets diminished through fruit over-ripeness, in temperatures inimical to floral complexity.


Last time I posted a link to Geoff Kelly it provoked the ire of some people on the grounds of its typically KIwi Oz bashing. Clearly the dividing line between ripeness and over-ripeness is a matter of taste, but I'm with Kelly on this and I suspect that most French wine deciders would be too.
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