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Showing posts from May, 2011

Syrahs in a season of discontent

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Another outstanding Hospice du Rhône – America's premier Rhône style wine festival, taking place each spring in Paso Robles, CA – has come and gone this past April 28-30, and thus another good reason to stop and assess the progress of the quintessential Rhône style red: those made from the syrah grape.

First things first: there were some startling beauties at this year’s HdR. The 2007 as well as the 2008 Jonata La Sangre de Jonata Santa Ynez Valley Syrah, for instance, seemed larger than life, swollen with perfumed, raspberry liqueur-like syrah concentration; the ’07 tinged by wild scrubby and toasty components, and the ’08 even more specific with roasting meats (what many call “bacon”), wild thyme intensities.

On a seemingly opposite end of the scale, the 2008 Baker Lane Sonoma Coast Estate Syrah was velvety smooth and finesseful – for all the world, pinot noirish in gentility (is this a compliment or insult?) – despite carrying 14.2% alcohol weight; flashing piercing vio…