Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Jim Grow » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:45 pm

Opened the 2010 Stolpman Estate Syrah tonight with BBQ ribs and it was VERY primary with black raspberry grapeyness and solid tannins. This wine comes from the Santa Ynez Valley and had 14.1 % abv. I'll give my remaining bottles at least 5 years and maybe much more. Enjoyable now but way too young.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Jim Grow » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:47 pm

Hey Mark, Thanks for the note on the 1998 Pegau as I have a few and was wondering how they were doing. I'll open one sometime this winter on a cold nite.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Jenise » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:56 pm

Two syrahs with rack of lamb and roasted butternut squash:

2004 Dobbes Fortmiller Vineyard Syrah, Oregon: from the Rogue River Valley in Oregon's warmer southern parts, this syrah is something of a weirdo in my cellar in that we bought some stuff at the winery a few years ago and somehow this wine, which I did not choose, ended up with my purchases. I'm a big fan of Dobbes' pinots and whites, so I was quite surprised by what I found in this bottle the other night. I noted: lactic-sour cream, black cherry/strawberry, black licorice, vanilla, bubble gum, 100% new world, coffee on the finish, Aussie-export sweetness and extraction. Nothing otherwise wrong with it but it's everything that had me saying for years that I could not stand domestic syrahs, and I couldn't finish a glass. It just got gobbier as it sat.

So, in order to have something with dinner, we opened for comparison another PNW syrah: 2007 Dynasty Cellars Syrah. Blackberry fruit, tobacco, caramel, sweet and oaky but it integrates, good acid, soft velvet tannins, exemplary concentration and balance. Not my favorite thing in the world either, but it's expertly done wine in the plush new world style so many lust after and on that basis not only can I enjoy it, I can even suggest it's worth its $44 asking price.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby OW Holmes » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:17 pm

Jim Grow wrote:Hey Mark, Thanks for the note on the 1998 Pegau as I have a few and was wondering how they were doing. I'll open one sometime this winter on a cold nite.

What night, and how much warning will you give us?
-OW
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Jim Grow » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:07 am

Hey OW, I'd love to have you and Beth down to southern Ohio some cold winter week-end. The fishing, however, would be limited to ice fishing in our pond.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Salil » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:12 pm

1997 Bernard Faurie Hermitage
BJ's rule of 15 works again. Understated, elegant and complex, layering together red fruits, black olives, smoked meat and herbal/tobacco leaf notes. Drinking superbly now with the tannin surprisingly gentle, bright acids beneath the fruit and a long, savoury finish.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Tim York » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:12 pm

Salil wrote:1997 Bernard Faurie Hermitage
BJ's rule of 15 works again. Understated, elegant and complex, layering together red fruits, black olives, smoked meat and herbal/tobacco leaf notes. Drinking superbly now with the tannin surprisingly gentle, bright acids beneath the fruit and a long, savoury finish.


I think that the 97s may be more forward than most vintages. I'm not planning to look at my 99s and 01s for some time yet and they could well outlast me.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Tim York wrote:
Salil wrote:1997 Bernard Faurie Hermitage
BJ's rule of 15 works again. Understated, elegant and complex, layering together red fruits, black olives, smoked meat and herbal/tobacco leaf notes. Drinking superbly now with the tannin surprisingly gentle, bright acids beneath the fruit and a long, savoury finish.


I think that the 97s may be more forward than most vintages. I'm not planning to look at my 99s and 01s for some time yet and they could well outlast me.


In my experience, '97 was a bit deficient in acid in the N Rhone, though better producers may have coaxed more out of the vintage. A lot of the wines showed well young, but weren't destined to make old bones, or such is my impression. I don't know how familiar your audience may be with BJ's rule of 15, Salil.

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Tim York » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:25 pm

Mark Lipton wrote: I don't know how familiar your audience may be with BJ's rule of 15, Salil.



No, please explain?

In general, I agree that 1997s have quite low acidity. However, I have had a lot of pleasure from many of them but am drinking them up. There have been some thin and acidic exceptions; e.g. I remember a disappointing Cornas from Voge, I think.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Salil » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:44 pm

Fifteen years after vintage for good Northern Rhones is a nice time to start peeking in.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:25 pm

Salil wrote:Fifteen years after vintage for good Northern Rhones is a nice time to start peeking in.


As pronounced by a fellow going by the nym of BJ on Wine Disorder. He's a certified oenogerontophile, preferring his Cru Beaujolais with 15 years on it, too, but in this instance I find his advice in accord with my own experience.

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Salil » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:40 pm

Yup. Though in the case of some 95s (my Chave and Verset), I'm keeping them buried a little longer.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:57 pm

2007 Tobin James, Silver Reserve, Syrah. It gave gobs of black fruit on the nose and upfront. In the middle we found blackberries, blueberries, some pepper and spice, smooth tannin, and little heat as the gobs overcame the alky. It finished nicely. We matched it with broiled loin lamb chops, rice, and sliced tomatoes.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Doug Surplus » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:45 am

Last night, to wash down roast leg of lamb with Cabernet reduction, yams and beet, endive and romaine salad, my daughter, her boyfriend and I easily drained 3 bottles of wine. The first two fit this months theme:

2001 Edumnds St John Rocks and Gravel - Only a slight bit of dulling of color hints that this is an older wine. At first it is tight, with little aroma and only a little dark berry. With time, it opens up to a delightfully earthy wine of subtle dark fruit and wild mushrooms. Nearly perfect with the lamb.

2000 Edmunds St John Los Robles Viejos - This vibrant, dark purple wine was very alive with a fruity, floral nose. Wonderful blackberry, violet and pepper notes danced around the tongue, tantalizing and teasing. Also good with the lamb, but the R&G was a better match.

I liked both equally well, Kailee and Scott favored the LRV because it showed more fruit.

The 3rd wine was a Grenache, so no WTN here.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:54 pm

WTN 2009 Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers.

Opened and decanted one hour. Good natural cork, no sediment noted 13% alc, $22 Cdn, think 100% Syrah still.

Medium purple in colour, light rainbow rim.
Nose has typical syrah appeal but not too meaty. Pepper, strawberry, spice, "raspberry" from across the table.
Tannins nicely integrated, medium-bodied, good fruit balance. "Very fruity..like this". No heat, some raspberry as it opens in the glass. Smooth finish, no bitterness, rather mass produced though. No real sense of place imo.

WTN 2005 Petit Mars Mas du Soleilla La Clape, Languedoc.

$30, cellared for 3 yrs, good natural cork, decanted and drunk over three day period. This was a big wine as expected, syrah/grenache blend.

Deep colour, full-bodied, hard as nails on day one. Good red fruits, still tannic, herby, some ripeness on third day. Hint of coffee, cherry as it evolved, great length, love this region.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:53 pm

2005 Texier Brézème was opened tonight with a dinner of grilled, butterflied leg of lamb. This was opened in part because of reports on CT that it was sealed under Neocork, but this bottle proved to be under cork. Light and sprightly, later becoming juicy with dark berry fruit, it wasn't too expressive aromatically apart from a slight touch of pencil lead. Medium weight with few tannins in evidence, it was really a treat with the lamb.

Though reports elsewhere might indicate that Texier's Syrahs aren't up to snuff, I'm happy to report of a positive experience in our household. 8)

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:01 am

Mark, big Brezeme fan club over on WineDisorder, :mrgreen:
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Salil » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:10 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Mark, big Brezeme fan club over on WineDisorder, :mrgreen:

There's a big Brezeme fan club over on a lot of places; certainly here and on Berserkers as well. And it doesn't surprise me.

For my tastes, Eric Texier makes some of the most thrilling and compelling Rhones out there. I've enjoyed his Hermitage, CDP and village CDRs in the past, had some mixed experiences with his Cote-Rotie, but his 'Vieille Serine' bottlings from St. Julien en St. Alban and Brezeme are consistently stunning wines and have become wines I'm buying each year in quantity for the cellar and to drink a couple young. I've found those 2 bottlings among the most pure, elegant and classical expressions of Northern Rhone Syrah (up there with the likes of Gonon, Levet and Allemand), and I'm grateful that Eric prices them so that they're quite affordable and fantastic values while prices for most other traditional N. Rhones (Allemand, Jamet and Clape, I'm looking at you) have skyrocketed recently.

Just got my case of his 2010 St. Julien en St. Alban Vieille Serine from Chambers yesterday. While I'll stash most of the bottles away for the future, I definitely plan to open one or two young - certainly one later this month given the theme. :D
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Salil » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:47 pm

2010 Éric Texier Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban Vieille Serine

Opened at 2 pm to give it some air. First impression then with a few small sips were that this is a beautiful, pure and fragrant expression of classic North Rhone Syrah.

A few hours later, after it's had some time to breathe, it's utterly jawdropping.

I am awed that a wine with this finesse and sense of seamlessness is still available for around $35. (I can think of very few examples from Côte-Rôtie or other more exalted and more expensive appellations that have this sort of fragrance, purity and elegance.)

Fresh berried fruit framed by a bright high toned florality, savoury earthiness and gentler meaty and saline elements, all conveyed with a delicate touch and amazing finesse on the palate. Bright acids keep it very fresh and lively, and the flavours linger long after each sip. Utterly spectacular wine.

Thanks, Eric.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:56 pm

Salil wrote:2010 Éric Texier Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban Vieille Serine



Thanks for the note, Salil. I bought the '09 in quantity, largely on the strength of your experience with it, but haven't yet sprung for the '10. It sounds as if I shall.

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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby John S » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:26 am

The 2007 Chateau du Trignon CDRV-Sablet is dark brick in colour. Oops, I just looked this up and the Quiot websire states this is a very unusual grenache/mourvedre blend (no specific ratio given), with no syrah at all (http://www.famillequiot.com/vins.php?idDom=4&idVin=3&langue=en). I don't think I've had such a blend before. Oh well, you're getting a tasting note anyway!

Very Rhonish on the powerful nose, with earthy cherries, plums and lavender the main impressions. Medium bodied on the palate, with still a few tannins at the back end, and the grenache dominating right now. There's earthy notes, a hint of leather (OK, maybe the mourvedre showed up), but mainly plums, cherries and red licorice. It seems to be tightening up with a bit of air: this is still quite structured. A solid QPR, and solid wine too. It doesn''t have the big plushness of some 2007s. This should be better in 2-3 years (B+).
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Tim York » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:56 am

Here are two interestingly contrasted 100% Syrahs from yesterday's tasting, one from a classically cool climate and the other from a warm dry climate.

Saint-Joseph 2010 - Pierre Gonon - (€24). The colour was almost back. The nose was remarkably expressive with marked notes of olives, sour cherry and grilled meat. The palate was full bodied and long with burgeoning fruit strongly marked by olives, anise and herbs and supported by lively acidity and upright tannins. The overall effect was savoury, virile and classy leaning more towards Hermitage than Côte Rôtie. This was remarkably enjoyable for such a young wine but, given Gonon's track record, it should age well losing exuberance but gaining even more complexity; 17/20.

Syrah 2008 - Martúe, Toledo, central Spain - (€20), raised for 14 months in barrels 25% new and 20% American. Colour was also nearly black. The nose showed suave dark fruit marked by quality wood flavours. The palate was broodingly powerful showing concentrated pepper laced dark fruit, enough acidity and firm tannins with wood flavours better integrated than on the nose. The overall effect was sweeter rather than savoury like the Gonon and it avoided blackberry veering towards boysenberry notes prevalent in warm climate Syrah/Shiraz, of which I am not usually a fan; 15.5/20++.
Last edited by Tim York on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Lars Carlberg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:26 am

Tim, I've yet to taste Pierre Gonon's 2010 St. Joseph rouge from bottle, but I visited the property back in Easter 2011. Jean Gonon, the winemaker, says it's "one of the best vintages." He mentioned the "little higher acidity," too.
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Re: Wine Focus for October: Syrah and Syrah blends

Postby Rahsaan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 am

Tim York wrote:Saint-Joseph 2010 - Pierre Gononsavoury, virile and classy leaning more towards Hermitage than Côte Rôtie...


Maybe. Although I'm not sure either appellation really came to mind when I've drunk this wine. Mainly just 'delicious young Gonon'.
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