Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tasting Notes: Que Syrah Shiraz? JavaMonkey Thursday Wine Series 10/2/08

I apologize in advance for any typos in this post. I'm writing with a 15-lb cat sitting on my right hand. It's kind of like in the old Anglican "Book of Common Prayer," wherein someone gets to "sitteth upon the right hand. And purreth at the notion of yummy red wine." Okay, maybe that last bit wasn't in there, but Jess did pour some good reds at last Thursday's tasting. The theme was Shiraz/Syrah, so that meant lots of dark fruit and purple teeth for all!

2006 Rojo Mojo Shiraz (La Mancha, Spain):
Completely aged in stainless steel, this wine had a fruit peel nose, light berry and dark plum flavors on the palate, and a raspberry finish
Rating: Good

2005 Abundance Syrah (Lodi, California):
This winery is definitely going on the itinerary for our spring trip to Lodi. It's a family operation, and they monitor every aspect of production. It had that rich, deep flavor associated with Lodi wines (hence why we're going there). Light caramel or licorice overtone, medium fruit middle, and spicy finish.
Rating: Very Good

2004 Bradgate Syrah (Stellenbosch, South Africa):
Astringent, antiseptic nose. Smooth, but with eucalyptus flavors on the palate crowding out any fruit that might have been there. Other comments heard as people tasted this wine included, "plastic" and "Band-Aid."
Rating: Moo (for those reading for the first time, this is my rating for wines I really don't like, taken from one hideous North Carolina wine that was named for a show cow)

2004 Niner Syrah (Paso Robles, California):
Dark fruit nose, nicely balanced with good acidity, smooth and fruity
Rating: Very Good

2007 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone (Cotes-du-Rhone, France):
Earthy/loamy nose with fruit around the edges. Almost too smooth in that it slides right off the palate. I could tell I'd drunk it, but it was a very quick, "Bonjour! Voulez vous buvez moi? Au revoir!" (Practicing French for upcoming trip to Europe) It did improve with the lovely cheese and salami wine munchies, which brought out some of the dark fruit.
Rating: Bien

2005 Boarding Pass Shiraz (South Australia):
We've had this one before and actually gave a bottle of it to my father, who travels a lot with his consulting work. It got my parents tipsy pretty quickly when we drank it with them over the summer, but 15.7% alcohol content will do that to those who are not accustomed to drinking wine regularly, I guess. It had a slight green nose, but was another very fruity, almost jammy, wine with some acidity and a smooth finish.
Rating: Very Good

Thanks, Jess, for another good tasting and for reading my mind. I had just commented to Hubby on Thursday morning that it would be a good day for "Medium-Ass Reds" with the cool weather and all.

Speaking of cool weather, we're having an oenophile friend over for dinner, so here's our summer to fall transitional menu:

Munchies:
Roasted butternut squash dip with crostini
Tomato and buffalo mozzarella kebabs (because we still have lots of little tomatoes that are ripening in our veggie garden)

First course:
Butternut squash ravioli with pancetta and sage
Mixed greens with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries
Homemade tarragon vinaigrette

Main course:
Zinfandel braised beef brisket with onions & potatoes
Good bread/rolls

Dessert:
Apple pie w/ ice cream

Wine: Medium- to full-bodied reds

Frequency of blog posts may go down over the next couple of weeks as we travel to Belgium. I'm bringing my computer, but I'm not sure how accessible -- or expensive -- internet access will be. I'll try to blog highlights as I go. Meanwhile, drink good wine, enjoy the cool weather, and eat lots of squash.

2 comments:

Marc (Purple Teeth) said...

Sounds like fun!

That wine with antiseptic nose and band-aid flavors was probably tainted by 'Brett' which is a yeast strain that can do that to a wine. You may want to try a different vintage but it may be a problem in their winery.

More: http://www.wineanorak.com/brettanomyces.htm

Cecilia Dominic said...

Thanks for the comment and the article! It's funny that the article talked about the characteristics of one kind of wine as being "bretty" vs. "terroir." We had a similar discussion about the rubber wine.