The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 118 of 132

118 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDLY COMPETITION, MIKE MADRIGALE AND JOSH Nadel, our captains from the Riesling Smackdown, gathered teams for a comparative and comprehensive Syrah tasting. Though the end goal was to declare a winner in this rematch, the tasting brought up another challenge: how to evaluate the diverse world of Syrah outside its spiritual home. "Without a doubt, Northern Rhône is the benchmark," Mike said, citing producers such as Gentaz-Dervieux from Côte-Rôtie, Noël Verset in Cornas and Chave in Hermitage as the holy grail. "The finest Syrah in the world is full-flavored and yet elegant at the same time . . . it's not heavy." With the bar so set, we tasted 19 Syrahs from across the globe. Sitting on Mike's team were Joe Cracco and Ian Smedley, Sommeliers at both Bar Boulud and Boulud THIS "MALLEABLE" GLOBAL VARIETY PLAYS STUMP THE SOMMS by Lana Bortolot / photos by Doug Young team captain: Mike Madrigale, Head Sommelier, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud Que Syrah Syrah The Dinex (Boulud) team on the left (left to right): Joe Cracco, Ian Medley (standing), Mike Madrigale; the team from NoHo Hospitality on the right (front to back): Kristen Goceljak, Josh Nadel, Lindsay Gulics.

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