WINE VARIETAL : Syrah
Wine Cellar Picks
Here are some of my current favorites among the
many delicious Syrah wines:
||Beckmen Santa Ynez Valley Estate 2001 ($25)
An aromatic adventure in black plums, baking spices, anise and hazelnuts,
the wine has matching flavors, a chewy texture, and a long warm finish.
Give it at least two years in the bottle to finish knitting together.
IDEAL SERVING TEMPURATURE FOR SYRAH
63°F / 17°C would be the equivalent of leaving the
wine out at room temperature for about 4 hours.
||Cline Sonoma County 2001 ($16)
Meet the leathery, cedary side of Syrah, consistent from the aromas
through the finish. This wine wants to join you for dinner, so pair
it with sweetened BBQ and mole sauces, sweet Italian sausage, or a
||Eberle Paso Robles Steinbeck Vineyard 2001
Creamy chocolate and raspberry aromas mingled with scents of raw beef
and cola precede a decidedly French dance of ripe fruit, fine tannins,
and snappy acidity. Can get even better in the bottle, if you can
||Eaglepoint Ranch Mendocino County 2000
Dark blackberry, anise, Dutch chocolate and cured beef aromas balance
perfectly as flavors in your mouth, enhanced by a raw silk texture
and general juiciness. Drink now, with almost anything.
||Joseph Phelps Napa Valley 2001 ($40)
The restrained, polished aromas barely prepare you for the flood of
fruit, powdery tannins, mouthwatering acidity, and toe-tapping texture
in your mouth. Plenty of wow for now, and enough stuffing to age for
||Morgan Monterey County 2001 ($22)
A toasty, peppery style of Syrah that mingles sweet berry flavors
with darker gamey flavors. You can almost taste the ocean breezes
in the cool acidity, and there’s sunny sweetness in the finish.
Drink now or hold a year.
Terre Rouge Shenandoah Valley Sentinel Vineyard Pyramid Block 2000 ($36)
Packed with plum, berry, licorice, and menthol aromas, and explosive
in the mouth with concentrated fruit, tooth-coating tannins and
zingy acids. With a proven track record for aging superbly, this
is a Syrah for the cellar.
In Napa Valley
Tasting at EHLER'S ESTATE WINERY, is like tasting used to always be in
the Napa Valley: friendly, conversational, and non-commercial. I almost
hate to tell people about it. Situated north of St. Helena, the 1886 stone
winery overlooks 42 acres of vineyards. There is a lovely 100-year-old
olive grove on the property that shades the bocce court, and an outstanding
elevated picnic deck.