Syrah

Review: 2013 Zenaida Cellars Zephyr

We came across Zenaida Cellars towards the end of a recent Paso Robles trip. It was supposed to be our last winery of the stay as we made our way out of town, but upon the recommendation of the woman serving us 10:30 a.m., we headed up the road to Ecluse. We are now members at Ecluse and I am always so grateful for the recommendation.

In addition to the wonderful recommendation, Zenaida had solid wines of its own. The 2013 Zephyr, especially. This blend is 55% Syrah, 40% Zin, 5% Viognier (!!!, more on the !!! later).

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It’s smooth, velvety and just lovely. The meaty red blend has notes of cherry (it’s fruit-forward no doubt), too. Now you may ask, what’s with all those exclamation points? Well I was surprised to see Viognier, a white varietal, mixed in with the predominantly Syrah/Zin blend. Not only was this a yummy wine, but it provided a teaching moment. File under: TIL!

The white grape once was commonly blended with Syrah in France as the varietals grow alongside each other in a region in the northern Rhone Valley. The practice still occurs in France, but not as often as back in the day. You will also see it done in Australia.

As an aside, Zenaida also has a cute little loft on the property where you can stay. The room was out of our budget, but if you’ve got the dough, it’s a good location.

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Zenaida Cellars
Type: Syrah (55%), Zin (40%), Viognier (5%)
Origin: Paso Robles
Vintage: 2013
Price: $42
Alcohol content: 15.8%
When to drink: With a juicy, rear steak.

Review: 2013 Morgan Winery Cotes du Crowes Grenache Syrah

I’ve had my share of GSMs (Grenache, Syrah, Mourevadre), but it wasn’t until my birthday earlier this week when I tasted just a GS.

Distinctively missing the high tannin, rich Mourevadre, this unique blend of 52% Grenache and 48% Syrah really caught my attention. Let the wine breathe for a bit if you don’t want a high kick to the cheek. This wine, featuring two prominent Rhone varietals, is not a shy wine at first sip.

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Full of plum and other dark fruit flavor, the wine smells delicious. The scent is very inviting and just a hint of smokiness near the finish makes your lips magnets for the glass. It’s a nice pairing of the lighter Grenache and the plummy Syrah, which gave it some upfront flavor.

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I had this blend at my birthday dinner in Atwater Village with one of my best friends that I’ve known for 10 years and my fiance. My friend wanted a red and I was vacillating between picking a pure Syrah and the GS. But a little nudge from our waiter at All’Acqua, and we were sold. (By the way, we were first-timers at All’Acqua and it was great. That silk handkerchief pesto pasta…yum!)

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Morgan Winery
Type: Grenach Syrah blend (52% Grenache, 48% Syrah)
Origin: Salinas, CA
Vintage: 2013
Price: $44 at the restaurant, $14 retail, according to wine-searcher.com
Alcohol content: 14.2%
When to drink: Surrounded by good friends in the midst of good conversation. Seriously, if it wasn’t a Monday night, I think the three of us could have kept on gabbing and finished a second bottle.

Review: 2012 Wolff Vineyards Syrah

So good. I mean it’s so good. That’s all my fiancé and I kept saying as we finished a bottle of 2012 Wolff Vineyards Syrah, which we picked up on a recent trip to San Luis Obispo.

Funnily enough, when we tasted the Syrah on the vineyard’s patio, which is super cute and worth a visit, we liked it, but not as much as we did when we popped the cork at home a few nights ago to finish up the final season of Parks and Recreation (The show’s finale was so good, too, so we were on quite a roll with our entertainment choices that night).

Plus, I had found a home for this cute stray and I needed to celebrate, which made finishing the bottle on a weekday an easy task.

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This Edna Valley syrah has a hint of pepper and a full-bodied toastyiness that smoothly slips down your tongue. The longlasting flavor kinda tastes like a delicious berry jam, when it’s cooling down to be canned. You know that kind of warm, juicy, stewed flavor? It has a bit of a leathery texture, but it’s not overwhelming.

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These are words that I don’t hear often coming out of my jokeleaning other half when we taste wine at home: “I dig it, a lot.”

Now I just wish we had brought home more than one bottle of this smooth Syrah!

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Wolff Vineyards
Type: Syrah
Origin: San Luis Obispo
Vintage: 2012
Price: $24, $19 if you’re part of the Wine Club
Alcohol content: 14%
When to drink: Take this to your next family dinner to impress the folks.

Review: Arrogant Frog Syrah Rose

Twist off!

I am a cork lover through and through, but I’ve been seeing more screw caps as I browse wine store shelves and honestly, they have their benefits. Think of all those times you headed to a picnic with a beautiful bottle of wine only to get there and uh-oh, you forgot the cork screw! This has happened to me many times and I have tried to life hack, unsuccessfully…more on that in another post.

I was scavenging for a rose at BevMo the other day during their 5 cent wine sale. They don’t have a lot of Roses covered by the discount, but Arrogant Frog Syrah Rose fit the bill.

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I unscrewed the bright pink cap earlier this week and poured the translucent pink liquid into a glass. The bottle calls it “Lily Pad Pink”–how cute! I was busy shooting off emails and picking out new glasses as I sipped. The wine smelled like cherry blossoms and tasted like them too, at least what I think they’d taste like. Very flowery; the taste of candied fruit lingered on my tongue.

It reminded me of cherry blossom season in DC, my favorite time of year when I used to live in the capitol. Look how pretty the trees are! I have this first picture hanging in my living room.

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I tried the Syrah Rose again a couple of days later at dinner and it got tarter with time, but for me, that was a good thing.

It’s creator, Jean-Claude Mas, is known as the “humble winemaker” and he harvests grapes from the five main valleys in the South of France: Aude, Orb, Herault, Peyne and Uzes valleys. How fun are those names!

I’d buy this again for a picnic or as a gift to a floral wine lover, but I probably wouldn’t get it again to keep around the house.

Nuts and Bolts

courtesy of food.com

courtesy of food.com