Saturday, April 18, 2009

2005 Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

I had a friend one time tell me that he didn't like syrah because it was "a weed." In a way, he's correct, because it grows lots of different places. I disagree with him about liking it though--it's one of my favorite grapes. From Cote-Rotie, to Aussie fruit-bombs, to California fruit bombs, and half old school, half new school Washington, as Gary Vaynerchuk, put it, "It's a good grape."

I picked this wine up at Costco. I think it was around 18$. I don't normally drink California wines, but every once in a while, I like to pick up a California wine that I've never heard of before that's supposed to be good and try it. I always say that I don't like California, but how do you know that you don't like something unless you try it? And wine is always changing--every single vintage, every single time you open a bottle, it's a different experience. So there's no way to know if you don't like a wine unless you have first-hand experience disliking it. The last two California wines I've had we're quite enjoyable...and fairly priced.

This wine is a dense purple color. You can definitely smell the ripeness in this wine. Unlike the more peppery, feminine wines from the Rhone, this wine smacks you in the face with ripe blackberries, blueberries, coffee, and beef. Once it hits your mouth, it's apparent that it's a new world wine because of the plush, satiny texture, and the ripe fruit. There are hints of pepper and sage to go along with the fruit. I perceive it to be a little hot, but I think in the end, this is really well made.

This wine is toeing the line as far as balance; if the fruit was any riper, I think that this wine would really taste off and not that great. As it is, this is tasty, drinks great, and is a reminder of why people like California so much. A

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