Theme: Syrah - Syrah (also known as Shiraz) is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. Syrah is used as a varietal and is also blended. Following several years of strong planting, Syrah was estimated in 2004 to be the world's 7th most grown grape. Syrah should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880. Syrah is grown in many regions including Washington, California, Southern France, and Australia.
Jackie decided to choose Syrah as the theme because she had a wonderful California wine tasting experience with Syrah. She likes how Syrah's tend to have a nose of earth, leather, while still being silky and affordable. Santiago says he likes the damp, earth, forest floor nose of Syrah, and it's delicious.
Bring: TWITs should bring a bottle of Syrah (red wine). Blends acceptable so long as the majority of the wine is made from Syrah. Price range up to $20/bottle for singles, up to $40/bottle for couples. We will do our typical blind tasting format.
Welcome Wine: 2008 Scherrer Syrah, Russian River Valley - $32.99 @ Le Caveau
14.1% alcohol, silky on the palate, coffee nose, dark cherry leather
1) 2007 JC Cellars Syrah, Santa Barbara County - $30.00 @ Smoke Rise Bottle Shop
funky nose, Kathy guesses French?, more fruit than the Scherrer, silky, dark chocolate, cherry, fruity, complex, deep, not dissimilar to the welcome wine, very new world, California? bronzy, jammy, Rheinallt guesses Sonoma, we think this would pair well with steak, balsamic vinegar, and mustard.
2) 2009 Domaine de Champal Eric Rocher, Saint-Joseph Terroir de Champal, Northern Rhone - $30.00 @ Atlantic
funky, herbal, farm garrigue, ground white pepper, tart on the palate, viscous, fruit, kick in the ass on the way out, anise, Rhein guesses Northern France, Santiago says A stone wall next to a pasture, Abbie wants to revisit this one after it has more air.
3) 2009 Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Serine Domaine de Pergaud - $35.99 @ Le Caveau
smoky, incense, bacon, pork, smoked meat, meaty, saddle been ridden, smells chewy, sour leather, Ken guesses Australian, the after-palate is volatile, acidic at the end, a saucy Aussie, not sure it is well balanced, a little green, Val guesses French, "it's stumbling home at 4am and ended up at the Clermont Lounge", dry, "tighter than a nun's asshole"
4) 2009 Ken Brown "A" Cuvee Syrah, Santa Barbara, CA - ~$30-40 @ Ken Brown Wines
pinot-noir-like nose, lighter nose, this would win in a fight, it would beat up your dad, perfumey nose, floral, gentle, braised duck, olive notes on the palate, pair with lamb, milk chocolate, pastry, smooth, honey
*** This wine won for the best wine of the evening ***
5) 2011 Domaine Monier Perreol Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes - $22 @ Le Caveau
funky earthy, green nose, French funk bomb, mushrooms, decaying leaves, Les Oeufs, sulfur, off N. Rhone, Rhein guesses Saint-Joseph, harbinger of what's to come, Val guesses it's a blend, tastes like something died in his mouth, N. Cotes du Rhone?, Matt guesses Cote Rotie, nutmeg, clove, Abbie said it wasn't boring, Santiago said crazy homeless people aren't boring, but you don't want them in your house. Roast lamb, Jamie's favorite so far.
6) 2008 Kangarilla Road 2 Up Shiraz, South Australia - $10 @ The Wine Cellar (a shop in Maryland)
caramel, Ken likes it, higher alcohol, smoother wine, silky, milk chocolate, fruit, Les guesses Penfolds or Rosemont, good PMS wine, "everything that's wrong about a wine" says Rhein, too sweet, headache waiting to happen, Abbie guesses Mollydooker?, could stand alone, Kylie Minogue wine, Call me Maybe wine, Moriarty, Santiago washed out his glass and stated "it looks like a crime scene in my sink", Boy vs. Girl wine, maybe it's okay at a party when you don't care what's in your mouth.
NOTE: all the women and Ken liked this wine, but all the other men did not like it. Quite polarizing.
7) 2009 Shane Wine Cellars, Syrah, Sebastopol, CA - $39.99 @ Le Caveau
funky, green olive nose, earth, mushroom, this has grip, tobacco, cocoa powder, dusty floor with stamped out cigarette butts, pair with cigars! South American? Abbie says South African, redeemer wine, it made up for that last one, Abbie says "I want to smoke a Monte Cristo with this", Cacao - Portlandia reference (NSFW), pair with BBQ rib. This was Abbie's fave wine.
8) 2011 Lincourt Syrah Santa Rita Hills, CA - $38 as a gift from neighbor so not sure where they bought it.
13.7% alchol, 98% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
earthy, coffee grounds, chocolate, moist dirt, funky, minty, menthol, viscous then dry at the finish, smooth palate, soft on my tongue, approachable, a "calm the hell down" kind of wine,
9) 2010 Ken Brown "A" Cuvee Syrah, Santa Barbara, CA - ~$30-40 @ Ken Brown Wines
lighter, alcoholic nose, flowers, spicy, cassis, complex, soft, shy-coy, somewhere off the beaten path, Rhein says I thought 5 was going to take it, but this might, sticking your nose in a flower bush, dry but lovely, French Ballerina,
We voted on which wines we liked best. here are the results.
3rd Place - tie between #2 (Saint-Joseph) and #7 (Shane)
2nd Place - #5 (Monier Perreol)
1st Place - #4 (2009 Ken Brown "A" Cuvee Syrah)