Christmas Eve Family Dinner features Big Red Syrah Blends with Beef Bourguignon
Much of the family gathered at our house after Christmas eve church service for a dinner celebration. Linda prepared Beef Bourguignon, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, asparagus, and salad.
I pulled from the cellar two big Syrah based red blends to accompany the rich meat and vegetable stew in red wine reduction sauce - a perfect complement.
Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend Napa Valley Red Blend 2012
Randy and Debbie Lewis established their family winery in Napa back in 1992. We've been fans since the earliest days and hold and keep and extensive collection of their wines - Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs, and this unique blend of both.we adopted Alec's Blend as a signature label for son Alec and feature it often at family celebrations such as tonight.
Lewis wines are family favorites for such special occasions, and this is one of our go-to wines, a 'signature wine' for son Alec, his namesake Blend for Dennis Lewis' son Alec. Lewis Cabernets are some of our favorites and we have a decade long vertical of Alec's as well as their Cabernets, dating back to the inaugural release in '97.
The label is dedicated to Randy and Debbie Lewis' first grandson, Alec, who was born on the day of the harvest of the grapes for this wine leading to the name.
This is a powerful yet balanced blend of 79% Syrah, 13% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot.
Winemaker's notes: "One of our best bottlings ever, the 2012 Alec's Blend carries the casual confidence of a 17-year old. Deliciously complex...layers of lifted ripe blackberry, black cherry, cola, malt chocolate, Heath bar and bramble never quit. There's great acid and structure here too with a balanced arc of tannin and toasted cherry wood spice."
This release was awarded 93 points by Wine Spectator and 90 points by Connoisseurs Guide.
Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, rich bold full round ripe blackberry fruits with mocha, spice, toasty oak, smoke and graphite with a long and persistent finish.
RM 92 points.
Mollydooker "Carnival of Love" McLaren Vale Syrah/Cabernet 2011
This is another fun label that we have designated one of our family signature wines that we love to serve at family occasions.
You gotta love our Aussie friends and their sense of humour. They emerged on the American wine scene with Marquis Phillips and their whimsical 'Roogle' or half kangaroo half eagle character for the Australia - American joint venture with their US distribution partnership back around the turn of the century.
winesite Aussie 'M' Mollydooker label library).
Aside their flagship 'Velvet Glove' Shiraz which nears $200, their two premium labels in the release price $80 range are this one, and 'Enchanted Path', a Shiraz and Cabernet blend. Their line includes an extensive collection from an entry level Shiraz to Cabernet, Cabernet-Shiraz blends, Merlot - even a sparkling Shiraz.
The story of these wines according to the winemaker is: "Our whole family is involved in making our wines, and all the wonderful people who drink them become our friends, so we named this wine Carnival of Love, because the wines bring us together. If you look closely you will notice that the Lefty characters are all included in the label and when you join the Carnival of Love and the Enchanted Path together, the two labels form one beautiful continuous love story."
Alas, the Enchanted Path and Carnival ended a couple years ago when Sara and Sparky split and went their separate ways. Sara took over and runs the business and serves as CEO, Winemaker, producer and philanthropist. Sparky, it turns out is a racing car buddy of my associate down is Australia who builds and races cars in his spare time when not tending to running the APAC region for my software business.
Since Sarah took over the business, Mollydooker’s wines have been praised globally, including receiving five 99-point Wine Advocate scores by renowned wine critic, Robert Parker. Its Carnival of Love Shiraz has also been listed a record three times in Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines in the World. Under her leadership as sole owner Sarah Marquis, the company has been recognised for its business success, being chosen as the 2019 South Australian Business of the Year at the much revered Telstra Business Awards.
At these price points, these are not every day wines for us ordinary folks, but wines for special occasions. 'Carnival of Love' has become one of our family tradition wines which we serve at wife Linda's and family birthday parties, since Linda is a Lefty, and we happen to have three family birthdays in the span of several weeks.
Mollydooker have continually won high acclaim with Carnival receiving 95-ish ratings consistently over the years; 2010 2009; 2008; 2007; 2006;
This unique blend really works with the Cabernet adding breadth and depth to the big black inky purple colored full bodied Shiraz. The result is a powerful full bodied complex wine with concentrated forward chewy tongue coating black berry and black cherry fruits accented by ripe plum and spice, a layer of leather and hints of anise with fine silky tannins on the long finish.
And, previously back in 2014 - "This 2011 continues with a big powerful concentrated, dense, deep and
complex wine, black inky purple in color, with super ripe blackberry
and raspberry and layer of blueberry flavors that are a bit over the top
for my preference, almost being raisiny and hint of herbs in their
concentration, with tones of spicy cinnamon and clove, and hints of
creme de cassis, mocha and black pepper on the lingering sinewy
tannin finish. This is not for the faint hearted and needs a big steak,
bold cheeses or dark chocolate to offset its in-your-face power,such as tonight's beef burgundy which was perfect."