Monday, November 24, 2008

Sonoma Vineyards Syrah 2007

Type- Red
Producer- Sonoma Vineyards
Variety- Syrah
Country- USA
Region- California
SubRegion- Sonoma County
Appellation- Sonoma County
Alcohol- 13.8%
Price- approx. $20.00

"Ta-Dah!" The Little Wooden Guy thinks he's found a good wine at a great price.

I received this as a free sample from Sonoma Vineyards. This is their first release of Syrah and it will have a suggested retail price of $15. According to the information sent with the wine, the fruit comes from the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley.

Night One

Color was deep inky purple, going to bright shiny ruby at the edges.

The nose is a pleasure, a meat and jam-filled treat. Bunches of black fruit are softened with some bloody meat, along with cinnamon and black pepper. It is the kind of wine you can just smell for the longest time, forgetting for a while you are supposed to drink the stuff.

Blackberries, barely sweet real ones, not jam, and black pepper are clearly delineated flavors on the initial attack. Sometimes you struggle to discern one taste from the next, or to distinguish different kinds of black fruit. This is not one of those times. No, this is like blackberries dusted with black pepper just popping in your mouth. The mid-palate turned slightly toward red fruit, tart unsweetened cranberries. An hour later some chocolate joined the red fruit. The finish was mid-length. Fine smooth tannins are a little mouth-drying, but not puckering like a young cabernet, offering plenty of structure.

Night Two

After a night under the screw-cap top alcohol seems to have concentrated. The nose was hot for about an hour after re-opening. Once that blew off black fruit led the nose, along with some chocolate.

Plums and some blueberries, plus loads of milk chocolate, open the attack. This seems to have sweetened considerably over night. Some vanilla appeared on the mid-palate, an obvious result of eight months in French and American oak, but it was balanced, not over-powering. The finish fell off rather quickly.

This is a very good QPR (quality to price ratio) wine. It gives some classic Syrah tastes, particularly the black pepper and smooth tannins. For a mere $15 this is a nice bottle.