Syrah Syrah for big red tasting ... two diverse contrasting styles from two disparate regions for a comparative varietal tasting ...
Sis-in-law Dr Pat in town for the family gathering this weekend, the ladies wanted a big bold red wine for tasting. I pulled from the cellar two contrasting style Syrahs to share and compare.
We acquired this unique label last month and wrote about it with the info below in recent blogposts.
Babylonstoren Simonsberg-Paarl South Africa Shiraz 2018
This South African Shiraz is a current special offering from local merchant Vin Chicago. We had to try it and are glad we did! It is from the Simonsberg-Paarl ward or appellation, (what in the US would be called an AVA, or an AOC in
France, DOC in Italy), the most granular South Africa wine area
designation, within the Paarl District, within the Coastal Wine Region
of South Africa, located in the southwestern tip of the nation.
I gained an appreciation for South African wines during my South African Wine Experience visit there two years ago when I had the chance to drink some popular and limited release wines.
This label is 100% estate Shiraz. This release was awarded 96 points by Decanter World Wine Awards in 2020.
Winemaker: Charlenes Coetzee Tasting Notes: "Aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, ripe fruit, a little dustiness and fragrant violets. Matured in French oak, this delicious Shiraz has a fresh mid-palate with dark cherry and soft prune flavours and a hint of spice. The mouth-feel is rich and velvety and the finish long and pleasing. A firm favourite of ours."
At slightly more than $20, this represents good value high QPR (Quality Price Ratio).
you would hope for in a big full throttle Shiraz - dark inky purple
colored, full bodied, slightly flabby, concentrated dense black berry
and sweet black cherry brambly fruits with a layer of smokey menthol and
black olive, spice, graphite and hints of cassis and white pepper with
tongue coating acidity on the lingering finish. Lacks elegance or
polish, a bit obtuse, but tasty and enjoyable.
RM 90 points.
twitter : @babylonstoren
We then opened this Sonoma Coast Syrah for a fun and interesting comparison tasting. This provided an interesting comparison tasting of two diverse styles from two disparate regions producing the same varietal wine, the South African vs this aged Sonoma County Syrah, produced in the Northern Rhone style.
I wrote recently about the Sonoma County region as an emerging area for Burgundian varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It has also been known to produce Rhone style Syrah's such as this label which has been around for more than a decade. I wrote about this label, Domaine Des Chirats Rockpile Vineyard Syrah 2013 in a blogpost back in late 2018
Fruit for this label is sourced from the Rockpile vineyard in the Rockpile appellation in Sonoma. Cohn calls it "a special place for Syrah". Sitting at 2010 ft. elevation, Syrah 20 plus year-old vines are grown above the fog line allowing for plenty of sun to reach full ripeness. The vineyard gets its name from the rocky soil that stresses the grapes resulting in richness and concentration. Jeff began working with the Rockpile Vineyard over fourteen years ago.
The 2014 vintage of this wine was rated 95 Points by Robert Parker.
Dark purple garnet colored, full bodied, complex and concentrated but polished and elegant, blueberry and blackberry fruits with notes of floral, anise, meaty bacon fat and spice, crisp acidity with firm but approachable tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 92 points