The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 120 of 132

120 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 NOTE: One further entry, the Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, was corked and was not considered in the evaluations. Domaine de Fondrèche 2013 Persia Rouge, Ventoux, France ($34) "Acceptable amount of reduction; honest, ripe fruit in a value-driven wine." ROBERT KACHER Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Saint-Joseph Domaine de la Croix des Vignes, St. Joseph, France ($45) "High-tone, ripe fruit; good meaty Marsala bacon to it. Modern in style; another OW/NW mashup. SKURNIK WINES Paul Jaboulet Aîné 2012 Domaine de Thalabert, Crozes-Hermitage, France ($33) Earthy and acidic. Mouth-filling without being too fruity. SKURNIK WINES Vie 2012 Syrah, Los Carneros, Sonoma, California ($39) Confected fruit, juicy and earthy. Tasted over-manipulated and manufactured. Emiliana 2012 Signos de Origen "La Quebrada" Syrah, Casablanca, Chile ($35) Green notes, vegetal quality, stewed fruits, menthol/mint and mocha. BANFI VINTNERS Tensley 2014 Syrah, Santa Barbara County, California ($28) Concentrated and viscous with some savory, briny flavors. EMPIRE MERCHANTS Shafer "Relentless" 2012, Stag's Leap, Napa Valley, California ($85) "Nice and minty"; high-octane style, tannic, juicy, v ery dark. Craggy Range 2013 Le Sol, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand ($60) Lots of cracked pepper and dark fruit; ambitious. KOBRAND Langmeil 2013 The Freedom 1843 Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia ($138) Impressed by the oldest Shiraz vineyard designation, the panel thought it was "more a wine for everyday people." NEGOCIANTS USA Marqués de Griñón 2010 Dominio de Valdepusa, El Rincón DO de Pago, Madrid, Spain ($25) The panel's top puzzler with more tannins than aroma; extracted but did not have excessive amount of oak or sweetness or confectionary quality. WINEBOW GROUP Quinta do Monte d'Oiro 2009 Reserva, VR Lisboa, Portugal ($65) "Not life- changing but had good varietal character and Old World sensibility." WINEBOW GROUP Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro 2012 Borgo Syrah, Cortona, Italy ($20) Lean, saline, not generous with fruit or barrel; on the rustic side. WINEBOW GROUP Tenuta Rapitalà 2013 Nadir Syrah, Sicily DOC, Italy ($18) Lactic and lacking in acid and minerality. FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS Herman Story 2013 Nuts + Bolts, Santa Barbara ($48) Very concentrated with complexity—another NW/OW puzzler. Syrahs from All Over though she is a fan of Northern Rhône for its "integration and layers of aromas and flavors," nevertheless "it was fascinating to me to taste Old World Syrah made in a more modern style, or New World Syrah made in an Old World style. It was hard for me to place those, as I kept going back and forth." And, after all was said and tasted, no Rhône wine ended up in the final round of top picks. With some hesitation, the panel picked Syrahs from Spain, South Africa, Greece and Washington State. "I feel somehow unusual recom - mending a Greek and Spanish Syrah . . . is that what we want to do?" Josh asked. "I don't know how I feel about not having a Rhône in there," Mike said. He slid the Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne and the Ogier Syrah La Rosine into the winners' circle. Spain—which both teams thought to be Cornas—came out. "I thought it was the best non-French in show, because it was the most classic flavor set without the oddball herbs," said Joe, an early champion of the Spanish wine. With the guesses as much all over the map as the wines, we counted the ballots twice and declared stalemate. Que Syrah Syrah. The Quaff Report thanks the follow - ing for wine submissions: Banfi Vintners, Foley Family Wines, Kobrand, Robert Kacher Selections, Negociants USA, Shafer Vineyards, Skurnik Wines, Tensley Wines, Terlato Wines, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Winebow Group, Deborah Parker Wong. Thanks to Bar Boulud for hosting the tasting.

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