Sunday, January 12, 2014

Surh Luchtel Mendocino County Cabernet and Columbia Valley Syrah

Surh Luchtel Mendocino County Cabernet and Columbia Valley Syrah

For a casual dinner at Angeli's our local neighborhood trattoria, we took two bottles BYOB from the cellar, an incredibly full flavored tasty recent release Syrah and an aged vintage Cabernet from Mendocino County California. 

Surh Luchtel Mendocino County Eaglepoint Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

I picked this up at auction after a good experience with another vintage from this producer from 2004. The earlier tasting was a  Surh-Luchtel Napa Valley wine while this one is from Mendocino County. These labels are the result of collaboration between two long time friends Don Suhr and Gary Luchtel who produce about 3000 cases per year.

Since these releases are small batches of wine crafted from purchased fruit, rather than fruit sourced from the producer's own estate or property, its not realistic to necessarily expect continuous years of the same wine from the same vineyards or terrior as it is known. So purchasing product based on earlier experience may not be an indicator of what to expect, other than perhaps similar care and attention to detail.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that this wine had no resemblance to the earlier experience, one being from Napa and the other from Mendocino County, two very different areas with very different terroir.

The 1997 Mendocindo Eaglepoint Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was garnet colored, medium bodied with full flavors of plum and black cherry with a layer of tobacco leaf and tea on a leathery earthy finish.

RM 87 points.

The other wine we took is replay of a recent release that we've been enjoying that we wanted to share with friends Mark and Gayle who share our preference for bold full flavored fruit filled wines.

Ninety Plus Cellars Lot 101: Collectors Series Columbia Valley, Washington, Syrah, 2009
I discovered and first reviewed this wine last month in my blogpost. I love this style as my preferred profile of a Syrah, thick, chewy with sweet forward fruits. Dark inky colored, medium to full bodied, this full throttled Syrah reveals layers of blackberry and black currants fruits with tones of sweet vanilla, caramel and spice with hints of black pepper on a lingering smooth silky tannin finish.

RM 93 points.