Monthly Archives: March 2013

All About Syrah

Sequel Syrah, Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage, & Two Hands Shiraz

Sequel Syrah, Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage, & Two Hands Shiraz

I’m always in the mood for a glass of Syrah, and lately I’ve had the opportunity to try some good ones.  A while back at a family get-together we compared 3 different Syrahs: one each from Australia, Washington State, and France.  It was a chance to compare wines from three completely different terriors, as well as  comparing the old world versus the new world style of winemaking.  First up was a Shiraz from the Borossa Valley of Australia, a 2008 Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz ($70, 14.8% ABV).  This one I have reviewed before, and it is very well made wine.  Full bodied with a nice flavor of blackberries and spice, it was a nice one to start with.  The second wine was A 2007 Sequal Syrah from the Long Shadows series of wineries ($30, 14.7%), out of the Columbia Valley of Washington State.  This was a full bodied wine as well, with a nice deep purple color.  Along with a good structure, it had aomas of blackberry and spicey oak.  It seemed to take a little while to open up, but it was a very good glass of wine.  The final wine was a 2010 Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage ($21, 13.5%), from the Rhone Valley of France. A Peter Weygandt selection ,this wine had a deep ruby red color to it with aromas of cherry and spice, and along with that the first sip yielded a nice earthiness, along with a smooth finish.  This wine also took a little while to open up, but when it did it certainly was good. This wine certainly seemed to be the most food friendly, and paired quite nicely with the rib steaks we were having. All three wines were well made, and it was hard to pick which one I liked best. The Australian and Washington State wines both were both of the new world winemaking style, full bodied with juicy fruit and spicy oak. The Crozes Hermitage comparatively was the old world; medium bodied with a earthy tones and and a smooth finish, and a little more food friendly. I would have to recommend them all, it just depends if you favor the old world or new world style of wine making.
Other producers to check out that make a fine Syrah would be Purple Star and Arbor Crest, both from Washington State. Purple Star is a Columbia Valley winery, and for this 2008 Syrah ($14, 13.9%) the grapes were from both the Whaluke
Purple Star 2008 Syrah

Purple Star 2008 Syrah

Slope AVA and the Yakima Valley AVA. This wine had a smooth finish and aromas of blackberries and spicy vanilla.
Arbor Crest 2009 Syrah

Arbor Crest 2009 Syrah

Arbor Crest makes an excellent Syrah as well, with the 2009 vintage ($24, 13.8%) being quite exceptional. This wine is made from Columbia Valley grapes sourced from 3 vineyards. It is full bodied with aromas of spicy blackberry and oak, and has a nice spicy finish as well. The 2010 vintage is also an excellent choice.
Now that spring has sprung, might as well enjoy it with a nice glass of syrah:)

Tempranillo from Costers Del Segre

Raimat 2007 Tempranillo

Raimat 2007 Tempranillo

I recently tried a great Tempranillo from Spain. Most of the time people think of Rioja or Ribera del Duero when thinking of good Spanish wine, but this wine came from a region known as Costers del Segre. Costers Del Segre was established as a DO (Denomination of Origin) in 1986, and is located in Northeastern Spain west of Barcelona. The region has a continental climate with long dry summers, which is ideal for growing grapes. This tempranillo was a 2007 produced by Raimat. Owned by Cordoniu, a large sparking wine firm located in Penedes, the wine estate was originally created by Manuel Raventos, who transformed 3,200 acres of stony land with an old castle into a successful vineyard. The castle was renovated and is currently the home of the Raventos family. Raimat also takes care of the land, and focuses on sustainable viticulture practices. The wine presented itself in a bright ruby red color, with spicy black fruit and a hint of smokiness on the nose. The wine had a good structure of acids and tannins with a spicy finish of blackberries and currents along with some more of that smokiness. It was a great glass of wine, and I think it would be great with a spicy dish, or grilled red meat. Aside from this Tempranillo, Raimat has a large range of wines to choose from, and I would definitely recommend checking them out.

Cheers!

Seth

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