Eve Wine 101 Reviews: Syrah, Port and Tannat

Wines to be reviewed are stacking up at Chez Bushman and you know what that means?  The pressure to drink is overwhelming!  Now, I didn’t do these three all on the same night but I did get through them and made ample notes to prove it:

Red Lava Vineyards 2005 SyrahRed Lava Vineyards 2005 Syrah

14.5% alcohol

100% Red Lava Vineyards Syrah

Red Hills Lake County

From Lee’s Wine Bistro

I immediately thought “Wow, with 14.5 percent alcohol and it being a Syrah, I expect an explosion.”  Luckily I got something far better:

Observed in the glass the wine had a very opaque dark purple color.   A couple of swirls later and I noted pungent aromas of blackberry and blueberry followed quickly by green peppercorns, toast and smoke.  Anxious to taste now…I was happy to find that the same bold blue fruits carried over from the nose to the mouth, as well as tannins in the front palate, dried plums, a hint of cigar and tannins carrying it all through to the finish.  Friends that I tasted this with noted the wine’s balance.  For me, yes it was balanced, which made it that much more surprising as there was no overabundance of heat on the palate from the alcohol or too much fruit.  It was, in a word or two: really nice.

Two Days Later

We were on our way to a single malt scotch class when I reviewed the Red Lava Syrah.  I wanted to try the wine again to see if it changed with a little aeration.   This time I got  dark plums, stems, prunes, stewed tomatoes and wet earth on the nose.  The taste was less fruity on day two; dry, dark and peppery.  Conclusion: Make sauce out of it or drink it all up on day one!

From Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RedLavaVineyards?fref=ts



From the virgin soils of our hillside vineyards we bring you our landmark wines, Syrah, Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc. Their character stands as tribute to the undiluted alchemy of the Red Hills Lake County American Viticultural Area.


To provide our fans with incredible wines vintage after vintage.

Company Overview

Great wine begins with the nurturing earth, while both in turn enrich our lives. Steep hills and southern exposure. Hot summers and cool evening breezes: a place to make great wine…a place to enjoy life.


We’re artisanal wine produces and have a vein of rare red obsidian traversing our steep hillside vineyard. Our namesake.



2007 Roxo Port2007 Roxo Método Português

Paso Melange

19% alcohol

71% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot

Purchased Wine 661

Almost every Paso Robles wine tasting I’ve attended in LA, Roxo Port is there.  But yet, when I was planning a chocolate tasting and I didn’t have a bottle on hand, Tanya Green, the owner of Wine 661 did.

The color was of very opaque ink.  With the small sample at my desk in front of me, without lifting it to my nose and without swirling I could smell pungent plum and black cherry.  When I brought if to my face I detected perfumy stewed dark fruits, mulling spices, black pepper, both milk and dark chocolate.  Finally, getting it to my mouth, I was rewarded with a rich mouth-coating viscosity, blackberry, and balanced fruit against spicy tannins.

From Facebook



Premium Port Style Wines


We pledge to make Port-style wine using only traditional methods with minimal interference.


Método Português adorns our label and translates to “the Portuguese method.” Our grapes are exclusively handpicked and sourced from esteemed Paso Robles and Cienega Valley vineyards in California. Each vineyard was carefully selected for its location, farming practices and superior fruit.



Pulchella 2011 Tannat2011 Pulchella Winery Tannat

15.8 % alcohol

Bella Collina Vineyard

“Private Reserve 25”

Paso Robles

From my wine club allotment

I learned from the website that “25” refers to the number of cases, the equivalent of one wine barrel, that was made of this particular Tannat.  Because of that small amount the wine is only available to wine club members so you better join if this sounds tasty to you:

The color was a very dark purple that stretched out to a garnet edge.  A blast of ripe and juicy red and blue fruits got my attention on the aromas first: both raspberry and fresh blueberry.  Then I began to detect velvety notes of smooth milk chocolate, a sliver of cigar smoke and felled trees.  On the mouth, and here I expected again to be hit by the heat of the high alcohol content, instead I got darker fruit, more smoke, some astringency, tannins, seeds and stems.  Wow, what a mouthful.  I drank it alone but it sure would have paired well with a bold Bolognese sauce over spaghetti or grilled steak.

From Facebook


About: An Uncompromised Passion For Wine…Join The Cult!!!


Pulchella Winery is the brainchild of troublemakers, Nate Hasper and Steve Lemley.  This whole crazy idea started in Paso Robles in late 2005. After experimenting for many years separately, Nate and Steve joined forces and created the winery with the binding agent being a collective, raw and intense passion for extracted custom wines without any compromise…

Tasting Room

24261 Main Street, Santa Clarita, CA 91321.  661-799-9463

Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Friday: Open for wine tasting 5pm to 10pm.

Saturday: Open 2pm to 10pm.