Superb Syrah from Sonoma


Supple, silky, smooth three great attributes any beauty should have!

Little Vineyards, 2011 Sonoma Valley Syrah


2006 Felta Creek Syrah, De La Montanya Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley

Oh man, I have been slacking like a pot-smoking sophomore High School kid.  I have been out of motivation like my Energizer Bunny up and died.  Anyhow, I just need to get back at this badness in a mean way!  So I grilled up a marinated pork loin on the Weber tonight and we all know smoky pork meat goes really well with some Syrah so I busted out a bottle from one of our wine club shipments from De La Montanya.

Here it is:

2006 Felta Creek Syrah, De La Montanya Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley

2006 Felta Creek Syrah, De La Montanya Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley
2006 Felta Creek Syrah

The Nose: Anise followed by marshmallow, mixed in with some sweet and sour ginger BBQ sauce, predominated by ripe plum.

The Taste: Ripe plum nose gives way to a tart plum taste with cherry fruit skins, finishing with a vanilla bean and chewy oak wood.

The Mouth Feel: Tart and a tad astringent shows good acidity (paired well with the juicy pork tenderloin) tame in the mid palate with decent tannins for a Syrah, definitely new world, and mild finish with subdued river stone.

The Color: This is definitely Syrah, Deep Purple, like Jimmy Hendrix himself brewed this concoction.  Thinning at the edges and showing its age a bit.

The Nitty Gritty:

14.5% ABV
$26 Original Retail Price
Does not appear to be available for  purchase

The Verdict:

As of late (past couple of years) I’ve been disenchanted by Syrah, but this is a damn fine drink of wine!  I thoroughly enjoyed this wine, both paired up with my dinner of marinated pork loin (marinated in garlic, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar) and by itself.  De La Montanya rarely fails to impress me with the quality of their wines.  Again, I would recommend you get some of their product and drink to your heart’s delight!

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

I have been dying for some good weather so I can fire up the barbecue and do some of the things that people normally do here in Sonoma County this time of the year.  However, up until this weekend we’ve been getting soaked by the rain.  I”m starting to wonder if this is how people in Seattle feel most of the time.  Anyhow, the forecast over the Holiday weekend was outstanding, the clouds parted and the sun shined through!  I’ve been keeping up with Seghesio on twitter(@seghesio) and they keep telling me I need to have some of their Zinfandel with my BBQ, so I obliged and grabbed the only bottle offered at Safeway while I was picking up some ingredients for the BBQ.

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

So here is their 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel

The nose: Ripe plums simmer up through a fairly hot nose, there is some spice, a touch of toasted oak/vanilla and that standard issue Jammy Zin character.

The Taste: You are greeted with a 50-50 blast of big fruit and black pepper.  When I first tried this wine the fruit was a bit over ripe or cooked however as it has opened up that seems to have faded and now is on par with the other big jam fruity Zins.

The Mouth Feel: For being such a big fruit bomb there are not enough tannins to support the wine and it comes off a touch flabby.  I would expect more structure for that much fruit.  The mid palate through finish is a bit weak.

The Color: The wine is a dark purple thinning at the edges, very clear and pretty in the glass.

The Nitty Gritty:
15.5% ABV
Barrel aged for 10 months in 75% American (20% new) and 25% French oak
89% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah
Average Brix at Harvest 26.8°
I paid a little over $20 and have seen it online from $20-$28

The Verdict: I’m not a big fan of the big jammy Zins so this one falls out of my favor a bit due to that, but it’s very typical of many other Zinfandels.  There are no major flaws that I could detect and it pairs nicely with the sweet, tart and spicy BBQ sauces I used.

81 Pts. or a C+/B-

Tasting Notes and Seghesio
Tasting Notes and Seghesio

Nitty Gritty reference from Seghesio’s Website

2008 Big House Red – Box Wine Breaks Out!

I haven’t had the pleasure, or displeasure, of pouring box wine since I don’t know when.  I guess when I was a waiter our red and white house wines were big boxes that were served from a bar gun, so that’s probably the last time I ever cracked open a box of wine…  But all of that aside, I’ve been reading and viewing a bunch of reviews of new higher quality “box wines,” so I have high hopes for this one.  Get out your waiter’s box cutter and let’s go!

The Nose: The nose on this wine is not quite like the bent nose of some mook just busted out of prison, it’s actually pleasing for a red blend.  Hints of berry and red cherry.  There is something reminiscent of wood and smoke, like a dried out cigar box.
The Taste: Supple fruits come out to play immediately, spicy black pepper is predominant, there may be just a touch of medicinal or band-aid (just super slight), the finish has a touch of bitterness.
The Mouth Feel: There is a touch of tannins on the front palate that fades away into the mid palate, mid to late palate is reasonably structured and the finish is long and has a nice minerality to it.
The Color: Ruby red to purple throughout, very pretty IMHO.
The Nitty Gritty:
13.5% ABV
3 Litre Box w/spigot
The blend includes:
Syrah, Petite Sirah, Granache, Montepulciano, Mouvedre, Sangiovese, Tannat, Aglianico, Nero d’Avola, Sagrantino, Barbera, and Tourigo.  I always thought Montepulciano was Sangiovese, but perhaps they sourced some juice from Montepulciano!?
I found an online retailer selling 3L for $16.99

The Verdict:
After a hiatus of drinking box wine, since I stole sips from my grandmothers cup of Franzia, I was pleasantly surprised.  This wine has character and structure comparable to a $6-$9 bottle of any other Red Table Wine, like Bob’s Spaghetti or something like that.  So for your $/yumminess ratio, this should fit the bill for any party of average Joe/Jane winedrinkers.  I believe this would make an exceptional BBQ wine, the smokey and spicy character would pair up decently with any red meat slathered in Sweet Baby Rays!

80 pts, C+ to B-

NOTE:  This wine was provided to me as a professional sample.

Addendum: 05/12

Great News!  This wine is great with spicy pepperoni pizza!  Two days after cracking the seal and still tastes the same, nice spicy character an excellent companion to leftover pizza!

2007 La Posta del Viñatero – Cocina Blend

I picked up this bottle of Argentinian vino for our Cinco De Mayo “Not Bad” dinner but we never got around to opening it, so after a nice day of picking up a wine shipment at Michele-Schlumberger and dinner at Johnny Garlics (Pass, if you have the choice, there is definitely better food for your money, Sorry Guy.)

Anyhow, The wife said she wanted to take desert home and pop open a bottle of wine, and well, I’m always game for that.

So Here’s the wine

2007 La Posta del Viñatero – Cocina Blend (Kitchen Blend)

The nose: The nose is surprising, for only being %20 Syrah, it comes across very earthy and spicy dark ripe red fruit, strong cedar notes, there’s a hint of caramel or vanilla hiding between the Earth and Cedar.
The Taste: This wine is a slow starter, the complex nose doesn’t carry through in the taste, the spice is overpowered by wood and the fruit is lacking.
The Mouth Feel: The word that comes to mind is disjointed.  The wine grabs the tip of your tongue and skips the mid and back palate (weird).  There is a touch of tannins that hit the roof of your mouth and some nice minerality that sneaks around on your cheeks and hits the side of your tongue on the way out.
The Color: Dark, really deep dark purple, almost black at heart
The Nitty Gritty:
60% Malbec
20% Bonarda
20% Syrah
ABV 13.5 %
$12 Retail (I got this one at Oliver’s)
Produced and bottled by La Posta, Mendoza, Argentina

The Verdict: I can’t say that I have ever heard of Bondara before, but after doing a bit of research, this varietal is suggested to hail from Piamonte region of Italy.  Here’s a nice write up on Bondara

Anyhow, this wine is not epic by any means, nor is it my assumption that it’s supposed to be.  It’s called the Kitchen Blend for a reason.  A nice enjoyable red blend that would most likely pair well with some of the spicier red meat dishes you could throw at it.  At $12 bucks, I would say that this wine is worth the cake, and is a nice way to try some Argentinian wine with some grape variety that you won’t find elsewhere.

Solid 83 pts. , or B-

5/10/10 – A Quick follow up on this wine.

I reviewed it shortly after opening the bottle.  As the evening continued the wine really opened up and the fruit character made itself well known, the mouth feel didn’t really change much but the flavor profile I would have to change from “lacking fruit” to exceptional, there are notes of fig and a hint of blueberry.  The woody flavors became more muted.