Wine Tasting Report



 

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As noted in this week's 30 Second Wine Advisor, (http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor/tswa121800.shtml), there's often a dramatic difference between Old World and New World styles, particularly when it comes to Syrah/Shiraz. To test this hypothesis, I set up a "blind" tasting of a French Crozes-Hermitage and a California Syrah of similar vintage and roughly similar price. To say the least, each lived up to its national stereotype:

Delas Freres 1997 Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage ($14.49)
Delas FreresClear, dark garnet, with fresh, plummy fruit surrounded by characteristic aromas of raw meat and leather, plus an earthy mineral nature that I associate with the Northern Rhone. Minerally fruit and earthy notes are supported by a firm acidic structure. Good balanced, though quite young and somewhat tannic; it opens up to more layered complexity with time in the glass. (Dec. 15, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: A thick T-bone steak pan-grilled medium-rare makes a fine companion and helps tame the wine's youthful tannins.

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Beckmen Vineyards 1997 Santa Barbara County Syrah ($18.99)
BeckmenInky ruby with an orange glint. Spicy black fruit fights for dominance with oaky vanillins in the aroma, and the vanillins win. Big and juicy, peppery fruit and sweet oak. Quite "New World" in nature, with the oak qualities almost intrusive. (Dec. 15, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Washes down a pan-grilled T-bone but doesn't really gain from the food match.

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NEW!
Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We are now publishing Wine Lovers' Page wine reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the Wine Lovers' Page name and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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Clock These wines were featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor, my free weekly E-mail bulletin of quick wine tips, advice and tasting notes. Click here to join the E-mail list!


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