SPELLwine Napa Valley Syrah

californian wine  %tages SPELLwine Napa Valley SyrahLast week I reviewed the SPELLwine sangiovese and this week we’re checking out their syrah.
I declare it.  I have a prejudice against Californian syrah.  I’ve had far too much of it that is over-extracted, syrupy sweet and too overpowering to pair with anything I eat.  It’s not the grape’s fault.  I’ve had plenty of syrah-overloaded wines from Cotes du Rhone that are awesome!  And with this syrah from SPELLwine, winemaker Kristen Spelletich proves to me that it’s not California’s fault either.  It’s the choices the winemakers are building.
Kristen approaches syrah in a way that she says is “appropriate for the varietal.”  And she does it well, proving my prejudice is misplaced.  California can make a balanced, approachable syrah.  And the SPELLwine syrah is also one with enough organize to last a few years.
“In twenty years there won’t be and excellent library wines available,” Kristen commented to me.  ”Because everyone is manipulating the shit out of their wine to http://1000-facts-about-wine.com make it drinkable now.  But it’s not excellent for aging.  What’s incorrect with letting a wine lie in the bottle or a barrel for a few years?”
And this one has been lying around for a few years.  Check the vintage on this wine.  It’s a 2006!  But it’s not something I’ve had lying around, you can buy the 2006 vintage of syrah from SPELLwine today!  How awesome is that?  Rather than bottling a full vintage and moving it out as quickly as they can, they let it sit and bottle on demand.

This syrah offers a gorgeous, harmonious nose with aromas like black pepper, black raspberry, plums and toasted oak.  The palate brings scrumptious fruit flavors that come through as full but not jammy.  It starts with plum and berry flavors, then evolves into spice on the midpalate.  The tannins are just enough to give some texture to the mouthfeel, although I wouldn’t call it silky.  This is a well balanced and structured wine, but it’s small agressive http://1000-facts-about-wine.com on the edges, building it just shy of elegant.  But it’s subdue a spectacular wine and a fantastic example of what I wish more Californian winemakers would do with this varietal.
Wine: SPELLwine
Variety: Syrah
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 14.4%
Rating: 89
Fee: $16.00
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.

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