($45) Inky purple. Seductive, intensely perfumed nose evokes blackcurrant, cherry pit, smoky peat and violet; smells like a cross of a northern Rhone wine and an Islay whisky. Impressively fresh raspberry and blackberry flavors are framed by zesty minerality and gentle tannins. Turns spicier on the finish, which is pure, focused and extremely long. No way that I'd have guessed this was from the New World.
It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...
While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape... Read More »
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