A 2002 Lewis Vineyards Artist Label "Two Rivers" Syrah (Washington) this past week was terrific. Just getting into a prime drinking window by my estimation, with a lot of black fruit and roasted meat character. Just a bit hot, but it's a well-made big wine from a big year with big ambitions, and it paired beautifully with grilled steak. I love Dunham wines and own quite a few.
Last night we opened a 2009 Foppiano Petite Sirah (California) that we picked up at a local grocer for just $15 a week ago when it dawned on me that our neighborhood wine group has not done Petite Sirah ever. I thought I'd let this bottle tell me whether or not it's time. It's time! Rich and balanced, big on blueberry fruit and tannins with adquate acidity to carry both. Drinks well now but will cellar 3-5 years, maybe longer--quite an elegant little powerhouse for fifteen bucks. Robert Reynolds, this is your kind of wine!
Earlier in the week we were having a political discussion when wine time came around, and as kind of a private joke I pulled a 2005 Chaddsford "American" from Pennsylvania to torture my favorite blind tasting victim with. It''s a blend of all five classic Bordeaux varieties that we had one bottle of previously about 3-4 years ago, and it was quite green then. I'm happy to report that the green element is now a minor, integrated player and some interesting red and black fruit is out in front. Bob recognized the class, the blend and also that it was new world-ish, but he wavered on that because the wine was drier and more subdued on the palate than a typical west coast meritage which, in our cellar, is where a new world wine of that type is usually from. Nice showing.
This week we also opened a 2007 GLM Wine Co. 'Deluge', which is made about six klicks from Chez J. It's a Bordeaux-ish blend with a bit of syrah in '07 that wasn't in the '05, which I didn't remember until I smelled the Northern-Rhone like tarriness that I don't remember from earlier bottles. Interesting development that currently disguises the cabernet sauvignon, which is the wine's majority constituent. Will be interesting to watch--it drinks well right now out of the bottle but it has years to go.