Last night we drank on Eastern Parkway, at Jenn’s place–Suzanne, Cathy, Jenn, and me. It’s been months since the wine club last met, for dinner at Kelleigh’s with partners, making it an entirely different crew. Since then, Suzanne has joined and Cathy is in between countries. Jenn, being the hostess, chose the varietal this month: Syrah–“the world’s fifth most planted grape” (The Oxford Companion). With no regional restrictions, we had plenty from which to choose, and for the most part chose well–an interesting selection that included wines from Rhone, France; Paarl Valley, South Africa; Central Coast, California; and a sparkling Shiraz from Australia. By the end of the night, this last selection–the Shiraz–was what “separated the women from the winos.”
First, we uncorked a bottle of Domaine Bernard Ange, Corzes-Hermitage, 2006 ($22 at Bottlerocket). Ruby purple in color and opaque, the Corzes-Hermitage has a delectable bouquet: violet, plum, blackberry, and spice. Silky smooth with black fruit, earth, and pepper, it possesses clear flavors followed by a lingering finish; and though savory, we thought it might improve even more over short time.
Next up–Glen Carlou, Syrah, 2005 from South Africa ($24). This one packs a punch with aromas like dried meat (which transformed into a barnyard scent once it opened up), blueberry, black fruit, and minerality. It’s a medium bodied wine with low tannins and medium/high acidity. In the mouth, dark cherry took over and spice (black pepper). The other three imbibers spoke of a tennis ball aroma, but I never got that.
Paso Robles was last on the map of still wines–Liberty School Syrah, Central Coast, 2006. I expected this to be fruitier, and though it showed orange blossom and cherry on the nose, along with cocoa and a musty essence, it’s an earthy wine, again with cherry, and a slight pepper spice. At $14, this was voted most drinkable by a majority of the members, which might be true; but I enjoyed the complexity of the other two.
Uncle Dick couldn’t have been more forthcoming; with one look at his face, we should have known what to expect. This Bleasdale Vineyards Sparkling Shiraz from Langhorne Creek, Australia,is undrinkable; in a word: YECH! Over ripe fruit on the nose segues to bubble gum and cherry cough syrup. I spat, which separated me from the winos, if only for a night!
Next month’s IMBIBE Wine Club–Tempranillo.