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|2010 Cowhorn Syrah 58 750ml - $44.99|
When in praising Cowhorns 2010 Syrah 58 for my Issue 202 report I wrote that it may well gain in intrigue, stimulation, and ultimate satisfaction, I hardly anticipated what another 13 months or else, a very lucky choice of bottle! would bring, when I again encountered this wine last July. Ripe plum and cherry, beef blood and game, juniper berry and incense, allspice and pepper, are deployed with head-turning aromatic intensity and vibrant, persistent juiciness. There is a polish to the tannins here as well as a sense of lift (at 13.4% alcohol) that youll seldom encounter in young Syrah, and the finish now approaches kaleidoscopic interactivity and complexity. This is going to be awesome to follow through at least 2022, and I hope half expect well beyond that. And needless to say, it represents a rare value. Bill and Barbara Steeles Applegate Valley vineyard for much more about which, consult my Issue 202 report has been known for some years as Southern Oregons viticultural star (even if I personally came late to discovering them). But its clear to me from the recent releases tasted with them in July not to mention from re-tasting their 2010 Syrah 58 that their renditions of Rhone varieties need no longer shy from comparison with any in the world, even those whose authors are named Alban, Baron or Clape. Given quality this amazing combined with a climate undeniably daunting, not to mention the assiduous pursuit of biodynamic viticulture the prices that Steeles are asking are almost alarmingly low. If the potential achievable with Rhone cepages interests you but perhaps just as much, if you have become jaded by the wealth of outstanding examples from multiple continents do not put off any longer experiencing Cowhorns wines! (For those later than even I was in coming to Cowhorn, the digits that are a part of the name for certain wines indicate the number of frost days experienced in the applicable parcel that season, and as such serve as one reminder of the especially rigorous fire-and-ice nature of the local climate.) Tel. (541) 899-6876
In certain areas, the name on the bottle will be an indication of style, but more often than not it's a question of origin. Generally speaking, European wines are labelled Syrah, while Australian wines are labeled Shiraz - although some American producers have taken to the Shiraz title recently.
Whether you call it Syrah or Shiraz, it's a hugely popular wine variety. Some estimates even recognise it as the world's fifth most planted red wine grape.
Genetically the same, but a world apart
Syrah (pronounced "sih-rah") is the great grape of the northern Rh�ne in France, responsible for the dense, deep-coloured, savoury and peppery wines of Hermitage, and the slightly more seductively perfumed C�te-R�tie.
The Syrah name is also used in other parts of Europe, South America, New Zealand and the United States. There is a myth that exists claiming the grape that produces Syrah and Shiraz wine comes from the town of Shiraz in Iran. However, without solid proof, a myth it must remain. There has, however, been DNA testing of Syrah grapes that prove they came from two grapes in the Rh�neregion.
Some wine growers in the northern Rh�ne distinguish between a small-berried version of Syrah, which they refer to as "petite Syrah", and the larger-berried "grosse Syrah", but others reject any such distinction.
Petite Sirah (note the 'i' as opposed to the 'y' of Syrah) is totally different. Petite Sirah is the name given to a common California field blend made up of Syrah, Durif and two other varieties related to them. It creates robust, tannic, earthy wines.
Cuttings of Syrah are believed to have been taken to Australia in the 1830s by James Busby, who is lauded as the father of Australian viticulture. The grape flourished and spread, and has become the country's most widely planted wine grape variety.
Touted as Australia's spicy, big-hitting red wine, Shiraz is produced by the vast majority of Australian winemakers, many of whom make several qualities of Shiraz, as well as a range of Shiraz-Cabernet blends. The Barossa and Hunter Valleys, along with McLaren Vale, are Australia's dominant Shiraz-growing regions.
Shiraz wine displays firm tannins (although they are typically ripe and smooth, not abrasive like younger reds can be), a medium to full body and the rich round flavours of black cherry, blackberry, plum, bell pepper, black pepper, clove, licorice, dark chocolate and smoked meat.
Such was the success of Australian Shiraz in the early years of this century that the name Shiraz has been widely adopted for Syrah grown in many other parts of the world, including in South Africa and Canada. Some wineries make both a Syrah and a Shiraz; in this situation, the spelling is more often than not indicative of the wine's style.
Shiraz and Syrah worldwide
Syrah was taken to California in the 1990s by the so-called 'Rh�ne Rangers', who had high hopes that it would be even better suited to their home turf than Cabernet Sauvignon. Sadly, they were to find themselves disappointed, as wine buyers did not share their enthusiasm. There have, however, been successes in Washington State as well as in South America, particularly in the famous wine-producing country of Chile.
South African Shiraz, generally crafted from younger vines, can taste earthy and hot. Some of those who make the finest South African examples label them Syrah. There are some notable Syrahs in both Italy and Iberia, and the grape can make some fine wine in sunnier spots in Switzerland's Valais.
For the past 10 years, I have worked as a journalist in wide variety of sectors. Working on everything from award-winning syrah wines to vintage cars, I have an expansive knowledge and keen interest in the written word.
Working in Australia for the majority of my career (not including a short stint in Abu Dhabi, where I was commissioned as a travel writer), I have been able to see the increased role online marketing plays in small business. As a freelance writer, I am able to sate my thirst for new knowledge as well as mingle with unique businesspeople.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Simon_Hammond
|2010 Domaine La Bastide Syrah Vieilles Vignes 750ml - $12.99|
"This Syrah is grown on the stony hillsides and sun-washed Mediterranean slopes that contribute to producing outstanding wines. Packed with ripe and jammy fruit aromas of luscious cassis, black cherry and purple plum, this wine does not hold back. A truly bold-flavored wine that conquers the palate and lingers with a fruit filled finish." -The Importer
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