Sunday, January 29, 2012

Viader Napa Valley Syrah 2002

Viader Napa Valley Syrah 2002

Winter Sunday of FA Cup Soccer, Bulls - Heat NBA and IU Big Ten b-ball with this Napa Syrah, artisan cheese plate, fresh berry fruit and smoked salmon, caper cream cheese. Cheeses included five year old Fair Oaks Farm aged cheddar, aged white cheddar, blue and parmigiana - all nice accompaniments to the big Syrah.

I was drawn to taste this Napa Valley Syrah from our cellar after tasting the spectacular Kongsgaard Napa Valley Hudson Vineyard Syrah 2007 last week at Grange Restaurant in Sacramento.

We tasted this wine with winemaker and producer Delia Viader during her visit to Chicago at a Binny's tasting - see An evening with Delia Viader. We then tasted later vintages of this wine at the winery during our Napa Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008 - Viader.

Tasting at the Viader Vineyards
on Howell Mtn

The Viader Syrah is a unique clone of old world French Rhone River Valley Syrah and new world Australian Shiraz. The Viader property sits high up above Silverado Trail on mid-level Howell Mountain at 1300 foot elevation which is the demarcation line between the Napa and Howell Mountain appellations since it is the highest level reached by the night-time and early morning fog.

This wine showed better than earlier tastings when it was still tight and closed. It exhibited dark garnet colored and medium body with mushroom scents and flavors, musty leather, white pepper, and spicy cedar overpowering the black berry fruit. This wine was closed and unapproachable for a while and has probably opened to give as much as its going to - better than it was earlier. Tasted w/ L.

RM 88 points

Reopened the next day and the wine had awakened to display more complexity with more vibrant fruit and more polish for easier and more enjoyable drinking. Needs time to open and reveal its true potential so open it early in the day for an evening tasting, or even the night before!

RM 90 points the next day.