Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WBW #62: Is it Syrah or Shiraz???

Call me crazy but here I am discussing that once-taboo subject again: Syrah. Yes, folks, once again it is Wine Blog Wednesday and this month's assignment was to find a grape that had more than one name. Looking around my house and perusing my wine racks, I had no choice but to do this again as nothing else would qualify! So last Sunday, I made my way over to sister's house for her beef stew and accompanying me would be a rich, meaty Syrah...2005 Miraflores El Dorado Syrah.

Miraflores Winery is located in Placerville, California near the Sierra Foothills. I have this mental picture of people living the good life out in the middle of this beautiful area of the country near Lake Tahoe, where it snows and one could get away for the weekend and stay in a log cabin with a huge fireplace. Not sure if I'm correct but I like what I'm thinking about. This Syrah is very typical of the big, hearty reds I've previously sampled from this area.

On the first day of my adventures at WBC09, I met Cheryl Alvarez. (She is one of the winery's owners.) She sat next to me during the live blogging session and we had the chance to chat and get to know one another.We had something cool in common as she is originally from Iowa. She asked me for my contact information and when I got back to Iowa, a nice box arrived with two bottles for me to sample--the 2005 El Dorado Syrah and the 2005 El Dorado Zinfandel. The Syrah is chock full of dark fruits--currants, dark plums and blackberries. There's a smoky, almost chocolate-like component to it. There was also a slight gamey component--possibly terroir-related as I've also sampled a Barbera from that area and found it to be somewhat gamey. Overall, it was rich and hearty and had a very long finish. I almost wanted to sigh when it done! Definitely a food wine. This wine has been written about in other wine publications and given very nice scores. I have to say this Syrah is the closest American-made Syrah that I've tasted and likened to an Australian Shiraz as far as weight and heartiness are concerned.

They have a really nice website full of information and I would recommend visiting as they host events on a regular basis. Please go to for further information. There you have it--I'm starting to try more Syrah and liking it! Who knows what will be next???

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