With the wintry spells that seem to linger in the distance and chill the evenings, we all seem to yearn for that warmth in the glass. So for the month of February we will be offering a featured category By The Glass, “For the Love of Syrah.”
Syrah has captivated my mind and palate ever since I was first struck by Cupid’s wine arrow. Syrah has all the spectral nuance of Pinot Noir, but with just a bit more tannic structure.
In our feature we have three uniquely expressive bottlings of 100% Syrah that are transparent representations of their place and style.
First is the 2013 Paxton MV Shiraz which has traveled all the way from the southern coast of Australia where Shiraz (as they call it down under) and Grenache are the touted red grapes. These vines in the McLaren Vale have been farmed biodynamically for the last 30 years and the grapes exude all the pleasure and generosity of the Australian sun. Ripe, jammy dark plum peppered with savory accents and an astounding clean finish is what you can expect from this glass.
In an elegant contrast, the 2012 Chante-Perdrix Saint-Joseph Empreinte gleams with red fruit, iron and tension. The wines from this sandy granitic slope in the Northern Rhone show how fine-tannined and mineral driven a soft expression of Syrah can present. The Verzier family (who run this domaine) have some of the oldest holdings in their respective appellations and continue to be transparent with their large neutral barrel vinification.
Lastly If you are like me and love a briny, savory and full bodied Syrah, then the 2014 Ojai Vineyards Duvarita Syrah will not disappoint. Of course, Syrahs from France and Australia are expected, but I think the true unsung hero of California and particularly the Santa Barbara County and Sonoma Coast is Syrah. I love the immense balance of dark, savory fruits, rich, luxurious tannins, refreshing acidity and a kiss of new oak to enhance the bacon fat and roastiness of the variety. Proper Central Coast Californians know we need a wine that goes with tri-tip and barbecue. This Duvarita Vineyard Syrah answers the call!
Stop in all month long to try out these amazing wines.
Follow Nathaniel Muñoz @SommMunoz for more wine tips.