30 Second Wine Advisor: Wine Focus moves to Syrah

Today's Sponsors

 A message from Wine Library Bacio Divino Pazzo 2005 is an innovative red blend from Napa that earned a 91-point review from Robert Parker. Just $24.98 per bottle on sale at Wine Library today!
 A Memorable Business Gift with The California Wine Club!
Many professional and executive customers have told us that The California Wine Club is a memorable business gift for clients and colleagues.

In This Issue

 Wine Advisor goes weekly For the time being, we'll publish once a week. I'm considering either Monday or Friday. If you'd like to express a preference, feel free to contact me by Email.
 Wine Focus moves to Syrah For February, we're looking at Syrah-based wines from around the world. But first, one last Rioja tasting report.
 A message from Wine Library Bacio Divino Pazzo 2005 is an innovative red blend from Napa that earned a 91-point review from Robert Parker. Just $24.98 per bottle on sale at Wine Library today!
 Marqués de Cáceres 2004 Rioja Crianza ($15.99) This modest, classically styled Rioja will cellar well but is mighty easy to drink right now.
Administrivia Change E-mail address, frequency, format or unsubscribe.

 Learn about our RSS Feed

Wine Focus moves to Syrah

For February, we'll turn our online Wine Focus to Syrah-based wines from around the world. Syrah, the great grape of the Northern Rhone, has spread to many wine-growing regions beyond France.

It's a major player in California, with Washington State becoming another strong contender on the U.S. West Coast; it's turning up in Spain and in some of the warmer parts of New Zealand, among others. And of course, usually labeled Shiraz, it's a mainstay grape of Australia.

For this month we'll look primarily at the grape in its Syrah manifestation, although Australian readers who have little access to non-Shiraz Syrah are welcome to join in, preferably presenting notes on cool-climate Shiraz made in an elegant European style.

'll offer some Syrah tastings in a coming issue. For today, though, let's wrap up last month's wine focus with one more Rioja, a relatively modest but excellent bottle in the style called "Crianza."

Based on the Spanish word for "nursing" or "bringing up," the word "Crianza" on the label denotes that the wine was aged for a specific term before it can be sold, and that at least some of that aging occured in oak casks.

The time required in oak varies from region to region; in Rioja and its neighbor Ribera del Duero, the rule is 12 full months in oak. Crianzas are actually in the least-oaked category - you'll need to look for "Riserva" or "Gran Riserva" if you want still more!

Today's featured wine, Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza, is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano grapes, aged in French and American oak casks. My tasting notes are below.

It's simple to participate in Wine Focus. Taste the featured wine of the month, and take notes. Then click to our Wine Focus forum in our WineLovers Discussion Groups with your tasting report, comments and questions:
The discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D".

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

Today's Sponsor:
A message from Wine Library


Are you on Wine Library's e-mail service? If not, you are missing out on the hottest new 90+ pointers at rock bottom prices! Log on to winelibrary.com to sign up for our daily offering or weekly recap today!

One highly rated wine you may have missed: Bacio Divino Pazzo 2005, an innovative red blend from Napa that earned a 91 point review Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. Fans of Orin Swift The Prisoner and other creative red blends will love this! Just $24.98 per bottle on sale at Wine Library, this fragrant, supple wine was one of our favorite Napa reds of 2008! Log on to place your order today... Click here for details!

You may have seen us featured in GQ Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New Jersey Monthly, and elsewhere. Wine Library features a huge collection of top wines from around the world, great gifts and accessories, a popular daily video blog (Wine Library TV), a wide selection of futures, and much, much more!

Bottom line, we offer the lowest prices, the largest selection, lightning fast shipments and the greatest customer service in the industry! Winelibrary.com is your one-stop shop for everything wine... so what are you waiting for? Log on to winelibrary.com today!

Marqués de Cáceres 2004 Rioja Crianza ($15.99)

Marqués de Cáceres

Dark garnet, with reddish-violet glints against the light. Bright red-cherry aromas, signature Tempranillo, with back notes of raspberry liqueur that adds a nuance of complexity and may reflect the Garnacha. Juicy cherry-berry flavors and mouth-watering acidity on the palate, invites service at the dinner table, with just a homeopathic whiff of oaky vanilla more apparent toward the long, tart finish. It takes a second taste to bring out some tannic astringency, but it's soft and easy, making for a Rioja that will cellar well but is mighty easy to drink right now. U.S. importer: Vineyard Brands Inc., Birmingham, Ala. (Jan. 26, 2009)

FOOD MATCH: Like virtually all dry reds, it's a great match with red meat; its relative elegance and grace pair it nicely, too, with lighter meats and poultry. It made a fine, if unexpected, winter-evening match with an old-fashioned chicken pot pie.

VALUE: Excellent Rioja, no value issues at this mid-teens price. Still, Louisville prices continue to appear high for Rioja; look for it in the lower teens or even close to $10 in some markets.

WHEN TO DRINK: Certainly delicious for current drinking, but typical of even the lower-end Riojas, it will surely reward careful cellar time.

The Marqués de Cáceres Website is available in English, Spanish and French:

For more information, here's the U.S. importer's site:

Locate vendors and check prices for Marqués de Cáceres Crianza on Wine-Searcher.com:

Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article
or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group. This link will take you to the forum home page, where you can read discussions in all the forum sections:

Everyone is free to browse. If you'd like to post a comment, question or reply, you must register, but registration is free and easy. Do take care to register using your real name, or as a minimum, your real first name and last initial. Anonymous registrations are quietly discarded.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

Here's a simply formatted copy of today's Wine Advisor, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.