Che Syrah Syrah!
….Sonoma Coast Style
Oh Syrah, one of my favorite grapes turned wine. The range of styles it can produce, whether the ripest and richest “Shiraz” versions of Australia’s hottest climes, the bold spicy long-lived benchmark Hermitage, or silky to velvety blue-peppered-bacon versions around California, I kind of love them all. Which to choose for my wine group’s “Syrah” night? I pulled a growing-almost-impatient bottle from my wine fridge– Red Car Sonoma Coast Syrah 2012. Boy did I choose well!
We know Red Car for sustainably and organically farmed coastal vineyards along northern California and for crafting wines of balance, finesse, bright acidity and aromatics. So I was half anticipating a more lean, bracing, herbaceous and light-bright version, especially when I read it was picked at 22.9 brix and included 15% stem fermentation. But when I pulled the cork, took the first whiff and taste, I was treated to the most silky, delicious, juicy wine still balancing freshly-ripe blue fruit, mouthwatering acids, and chocolate-violet powdered tannins.
The nose was damp soil and violets and blackberry fruit. The flavor burst with blackberry-blueberry dominant pomegranate juice, and the palate – it was silky-juicy with powdered blue fruit, cocoa and white pepper that lingered.
That’s when I checked the vineyard – It’s 100% Martinelli’s Zio Tony vineyard, from the heart of the Russian River Valley. That provenance (seat of the family’s original apple orchard) explains the bit of extra depth, silk, and richer blue fruit without giving up vibrancy. Syrah shares acreage with Martinelli premier Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so we still anticipate a fresh and fragrant expression.
THIS is why I love wine. This is a wine to share.