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The Cellar: Syrah Wines

Friday, June 01, 2012

 

The syrah grape is known the world over for fueling dense and powerful wines.

This week we are exploring the grape varietal Syrah. This colorful grape is known around the world for producing wonderfully dense and powerful wines filled with everything from tar and leather and dark fruit flavors to pepper, coffee and chocolate. But did you know that they also make a rosé of Syrah? Keep reading to find out more. If you have a thirst for more and would like to expand your knowledge about wine in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, you should consider attending one of my ‘Evening with Wine’ events. The next such event, featuring the diverse wines of Italy, is scheduled for Thursday July 12th. For more information visit www.ProvidenceWineAcademy.com.

2011 Charles & Charles Rose, Columbia Valley, Washington

This week’s first wine is a really cool Syrah, because it’s a rosé of Syrah made from 100% Washington State fruit.  The 2011 Charles and Charles Rosé is the product of a collaboration between Food & Wine Magazine

2009 Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith of Walla Walla, Washington and the famed French winemaker Charles Bieler from Bieler pere et fils, who has been making stellar rosés for years in his winery located in Provence. The Syrah grapes in this wine are sourced from the 60 acre Don Talcott Vineyard which was planted in 1998, located on in the heart of Columbia Valley’s Wahluke Slope.

This wine was the second favorite in one of my recent blind tastings, outperforming a Rose from Gigondas, France that is three times as expensive! There is a lot of kick in this wine and for around $10 I consider it one of the best American rosé values this season. An enticing array of bright red fruits on the nose gives away to delicious fresh strawberries and raspberries on the palate. It is dry and crisp with nice acidity. Seek this one out!

2007 G. Moulinier, 'Les Sigillaires', Saint-Chinian, France

Syrah is currently the 5th most widely planted varietal in the world. In the United States it is especially the Australian style that has become popular in recent years. While I acknowledge Shiraz’s positives, among them

their fruit-forwardness and friendly price points, I would urge you to try a ‘traditional’ Syrah. Domaine G. Moulinier is owned and operated by Guy Moulinier and his family, who owns a 60 acre Estate that stretches over three villages, one of them being Saint-Chinian. Saint-Chinian is a sub-region of the larger Languedoc-Roussillon appellation that runs along France’s western portion of its Mediterranean coastline.

The 2007 ‘Les Sigillaires’ is made from 70% Syrah with 15% each of Mouvedre and Grenache. They only make about 1,250 cases of this stuff, so if you see it on the shelf be sure to pick it up. This wine is made the traditional way. The grapes are all harvested and sorted by hand. After fermentation the wine spent 12 months in used French oak imparting body and giving the wine structure. The result is a delicious wine with earthy undertones and pepper with underlying flavors of dark fruits and berries.

Enjoy!

Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at srasch@golocalprov.com. And as always, don’t forget to follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook and sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.

 

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