Vintage Beacon circa 4/09: A Real Wine Review Column for Wine 101ers

Now and then I actually write about wine.  Well, take that back, I go to a blind Syrah tasting, hosted by my friends in the Santa Clarita Vintners and Grower’s Association, ask them to take down notes and send them to me.  So this really is a wine review column, but not just from a wine 101er, but from the real SCV experts:

scvbeacon logo squareHi Everyone,

Here are our notes from the Blind Syrah tasting, 3/28

Great turn out.  14 wines, we made it through all of them.  I never doubted we wouldn’t make it. 🙂  Except for 1 or 2 wines, all the wines were very good.  Chris C., next time, please bring croissants & breakfast rolls with your #6. 🙂  Seriously though, 2-3 wines stood out.  Who is hosting the next one, what wine are you going to pick?  Looking forward to it.

PS: The best part about hosting a blind tasting event…..finishing the left over wine the rest of the week!  Tonight we finished the Old Creek, DeLisio, and working on the Sunstone.

Chris & Patty Connolly

Wines tasting in this order.

2007, Orleans Hill, Syrah, Organic, Lodi.
Young, gamey, smoky nose, no acid, no finish, thin.
Group rating: 80-84 points

2003, Raven Oaks, Syrah, Sierra Foothills.
Vanilla, French oak, Cardamom nose, drink now, tastes like Australian, Roman W. said it’s a Barossa, Thomas L. said it’s not Californian.
Group rating: 85-90

2006, DragonFly Winery, Mill Road Vineyard, Santa Clarita, Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper.
Jammy, Black Fruit.  Roman W. said it was a Cote Rotie, perfect Syrah, Thomas L. said it was Santa Barbara Syrah, Patty said definitely American wine.
Group rating: 89-97

2008, Les Deux Chats, Paso Robles Syrah, barrel sample, Chris & Patty Connolly.
Cedar, French Oak nose, not a long finish, tannic.  Roman said Central Coast wine.
Group rating: 87-92

2004, Curran, Syrah, Black Oak Vineyard, Reserve, Santa Ynez.
Cinnamon, Cardamom, good structure, young nose.  Chris Connolly said it was Australian, Roman said Central Coast, Patty said France and liked it.
Group rating: 88-91

2004 De Lisio, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Krystina, Australia.
Very dark color, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry.  Not a food wine, tastes like desert or serve for breakfast on a croissant. No Syrah characteristics.
Group rating: 79

2004, Old Creek Ranch Winery, Syrah, Santa Barbara County, Thompson
Earthy, barnyard, Nutmeg, Cinnamon.  Everyone said it tasted European. Roman W. said it was 10 years old.
Group rating: 92-98

2003, Sunstone, Syrah, Santa Barbara County
Cream Corn nose blew off in time, earthy, older wine, American wine.
Group rating: 92-97

2005, Domaine Faury, St. Joseph
Extremely perfumy & roses nose, green taste.  Steve said it’s an organic wine, other Chris C. said it a homemade wine and Patty said it was an old wine.
Group rating: 75-80

2005, Zaca Mesa, Syrah
Tobacco, complex, French oak, very good.  Roman said it’s a young Paso Robles, Patty & Thomas said it’s European and he would spend $30 or more on it, Chris Connolly said it was a French wine, the other Chris C. said high alcohol.  One of the best of the night. (Eve got that at Costco for less than $20!)
Group rating: 93-98

2003, Cote Rotie, Chateau d’Ampuis, Guigal
Smokey, Nutmeg, black pepper, floral nose.  Roman said it’s a young wine and Patty liked the floral nose.
Group rating: 90-91

2005, Mantis, Syrah, Paso Robles, Mantis is the very first project of what is now known as SCV Winemakers and Growers Association. Rose and geranium nose, nice finish. Thomas liked it and Chris Connolly thought it was homemade.
Group rating: 80-89

2007, Domaine les Grand Bois, Cuvee Maximilien, Cairanne
(NOTE: According to the Domaine les Grand Bois web site, the Maximilian Cuvee is traditionally 55% Grenache – 35% Mourvedre – 5% Syrah – 5% Carignan)
Anise, floral nose.  Eve said it smelled moldy.
Group rating: 80-89

2001, The McRae Wood, Shiraz, Clare Valley
Blueberry with hint of spice.  Chris C. said it was Australian and awesome and Tomas liked it.
Group rating: 91-94

The newly formed SCV Vintners and Growers Association is a group of over a dozen local farmers, growers and winemakers.  They meet regularly to discuss their own winemaking techniques and to help one another with the pruning, picking, bottling and labeling.  In their love of winemaking they have all become great friends and also enjoy meeting just to taste and discuss wine.  And having their personal blogger in attendance…