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Category Archives: Syrah

Dinner with Faugères

2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens , Faugères, France LCBO# 223865 $18.95

Autumn is the season for the rarest of wine snob events…the wine tasting dinner. You know, the dinners you see advertised on the LCBO’s Vintages website touting amazing wine paired with incredible food for what many consider too high a price. Too many times we have passed up these events as been the bastion of the über wine snob. I say enough! We, the wine drinking masses, must invade this last outpost of the snobby elite for the simple reason that these tasting dinners are the best way to taste some pretty incredible wines at a fraction of the price of buying the wine yourself.

Think about it. The average wine dinner might cost you $250 per person. I agree, that’s a pretty high price for just a dinner, but if you factor in that many of these dinner feature super-premium wine that cost upwards of $100 a bottle at retail (or $200 off the average restaurant wine list) how could you not see this as a deal.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not advocating that attending a wine dinner as a regular event, but going to one that features a producer or region that interests you is well worth it. Often these dinners are attended by either the winemaker or the winery owner, which is always educational and frequently entertaining. I guarantee that not only will you come away with a new appreciation of the wines that you have tasted (plus a full belly), but you will undoubted meet people at these events who share your interest in wine…and drinking wine with friends is never a bad thing.

Ok…now I can get off my “wine box” and get to this week’s wine. The 2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens hails from a warm pocket of the Languedoc called Faugères. This is a rustic blend of the three grapes Syrah, Mouvèdre and Grenache. It has big flavours of red berries, prunes, red cherries and classic notes of dried sage. I would recommend pairing it with grilled meat or even meat lasagna. As for cheese, you can try it with Manchego or any other sharp hard cheese.

At $18.95, 2007 Château St. Roch de Laurens is a great wine so share at your own “home-cooked” wine dinner. This is definitely not a snob wine…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

If you’re not following me yet on Twitter, you can find me at @adamsWOTW. Also, never miss an Adam’s Wine of the Week by clicking the “subscribe” button to receive an email notifying you when I post a new wine review.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in France, Grenache, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Syrah

 

Over the garden wall in Saint Joseph

2007 Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph Rhône, France LCBO# 194928 $22.15

Wine prices in the classic regions of France such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône are, to put it simply, gone totally insane! Even the lesser known Chateaux and Domaines have literally priced themselves out of the market for all but the most well-healed wine drinker. So what are the rest of us who yearn for good French wine to do? Simple! It’s all about geography. Some of the best values coming out of these classic regions of France are being produced in the lesser known sub-regions that surround them. Its funny how people think that a wine from a classic region like Côte-Rôtie is automatically better than one from a lesser known region of the Rhone when most times the only thing dividing them is a stone wall and a name. This week’s wine is a prefect example of the great wines you can find when you look over the stone wall.

2007 Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph is an exceptionally crafted red wine. This full bodied powerful wine made from 100% Syrah has flavours of blackberries, black cherry, plum, spices and oak. It also has a well integrated seam of white and black pepper that is typical of well made red wines from the Northern Rhône. This wine is guaranteed to improve if allowed to age for another three to five years. I would recommend pairing the Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph with a grilled flank steak, homemade hamburgers or (for the more adventurous) venison. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a Manchego.

At $22.95, I highly recommend searching out the 2007 Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph. This is a beautiful wine from an under appreciated region…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

If you’re not following me yet on Twitter, you can find me at @adamsWOTW. Also, never miss an Adam’s Wine of the Week by clicking the “subscribe” button to receive an email notifying you when I post a new wine review.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in France, Red Wine, Syrah

 

Bonanza!

2007 Perry Creek Winery Syrah, El Dorado, California, USA $19.95 LCBO# 201194

When I was growing up one of my favourite TV shows was Bonanza! There was something about the open range that inspired me. As a little kid I remember stealing the atlas from my grade 3 classroom and pouring over maps of the American west wondering what it would have been like during the days of the Wild West. I would daydream about far away places like Crested Bute, Eureka and El Dorado. When I saw this wine sitting on the shelf at my LCBO I just had to try it.

The 2007 Perry Creek Winery El Dorado Syrah did not disappoint. While this 100% Syrah hails from one of California’s lesser known winemaking regions, it is jammed packed with developing flavours of black cherry, black currants, blueberry pie, licorice root (the stick not the black twizzler), leather, cigar box and smoke. It has lots of chunky tannins, which will help this wine age nicely over the next 3 to 5 years. My only complaint is that with almost 15% alcohol, this wine seems a bit hot on the palate.

I would recommend pairing the 2007 Perry Creek Winery Syrah with BBQ ribs or a quality strip loin. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a hard cheese like a Parmigiano or a Romano.

It amazes me that this wine is only $19.95. From a price-quality ratio (PQR) this is a great find. I recommend you pick up a few bottles of this great summer wine for your next BBQ…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below. If you’re not following me yet on Twitter, you can find me at http://twitter.com/AdamsWOTW.

Happy Canada Day! I’m glad to be back! See you all next week!

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in California, Red Wine, Syrah

 

Kaboom!!!

2007 Charles Smith Wines, Boom Boom Syrah, Washington State, USA – Private Order

A lot of the time wine is about trust. Specifically, the trust you put in the wine guy or girl who seem to flutter around the dining rooms of the fanciest restaurants. I know what you are all thinking. These sommeliers are the snobby frontline of the wine world and should be avoided at all costs. Nothing could be further from the truth! A sommelier’s sole purpose is to search out the most interesting wines out there and bring them to you.

A perfect example is this week’s wine, the 2007 Boom Boom Syrah from Charles Smith Wines. Jonathan, the sommelier at Toronto’s Pangaea restaurant introduced me to this wine for a dinner to celebrate my brother’s upcoming wedding. By putting my trust in Jonathan’s palate, he was able to turn me onto a wine that I would have never known about. The 2007 Boom Boom Syrah is a super fruity red with lots of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry over a layer of oak and spice. Jonathan matched this wine with a roasted capon (a.k.a. a monster chicken), which was delicious. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a hard cheese like a Parmigiano or a Romano.

The bad news is that you won’t be able to find this wine at the LCBO. I guess the moral of this review is that when you put a bit of trust in your wine guy, you’ll be surprised with the great wines they can turn you on to…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think. Also, check our Charles Smith Wines at http://www.charlessmithwines.com/. They have some of the coolest labels I have ever seen!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2009 in Red Wine, Syrah, Washington St.

 

There are good things afoot in the South of France

Domaine Cazes “Alter de Cazes”, Côtes du Roussillon, France $19.95 LCBO #097576

When most of us think about French wine, the historic regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy usually jump to mind. Now we might need to add one more. There are wonderful things happening in the south of France! The vineyards of Languedoc and Roussillon are fast becoming one of the most exciting regions in the world. Unlike Bordeaux and Burgundy, these upstart regions are not saddled with the same traditions and rules that govern winemaking. Some of the most exciting and drinkable wines in the world are now being produced by a new generation of young and inspired winemakers. This week’s wine is a great example of this new spirit.

The 2003 Alter de Cazes by Domaine Caze is a well-made blend of the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. (Popularly known as GSM wines.) It has smooth flavours of blueberries, blackberry jam, and pepper. According to the winemaker, this wine goes very well with game meat…so everyone grab their shotgun! As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with an aged cheddar.

At $19.95, not only is this wine a great value, but it represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding excellently priced wines from the South of France. I strongly recommend that you begin to discover what this great region has to offer by picking up a couple of bottles of this wine…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2009 in France, Grenache, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Syrah

 

McDeal of a good wine!

2006 McManis Family Vineyards Syrah, California $17.95 LCBO #658104

This week’s wine selection comes courtesy of an “Adam’s Wine of the Week” member recommendation. I love it when members email me suggestions on wines for me to taste. It’s always good to hear the types of wines you like and often I end up tasting wines that I wouldn’t necessarily of picked out on my own.

The 2006 McManis Family Vineyards is made from a blend of Syrah (and Petit Syrah) grapes sourced throughout California. It has flavours of black cherry and blueberries with a good measure of cedar and oak. It would go great with grilled flank steak or roast beef.

The 2006 McManis Family Vineyards Syrah is a fantastic example of a good value everyday drinking wine. At $17.95, this is the kind of wine that you don’t feel bad about opening up for a glass or two, then putting the rest away for later…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2008 in California, Red Wine, Syrah

 

Why does my wine smell like my basement?

2006 Château de Surville Prestige, Costières de Nîmes, Rhône Valley, France $18.95 LCBO #078766

It’s the classic wine nightmare. You are out for a nice dinner and the bottle of wine that you just ordered arrives at your table. The sommelier pops the corks and pours you a taste. Just your luck, it smells like wet cardboard and tastes like what you would imagine a radial tire would taste like. I hate to say it, but many of us would probably just suck it up and drink it.

The reality is that the wine is “corked”. When a wine is “corked”, it essentially has been spoiled by a microscopic bacteria found in tainted cork that kills the fruitiness of the wine and replaces it with a musty odour and off flavours. The generally held rule of thumb is that one out of every 50 bottles of wine is “corked”. If you think about it, that’s quite a high percentage.

So why the long explanation? Well, when I tasted this week’s wine the first bottle was terribly “corked”! If this happens to you, I would jam the cork back into the bottle and take it back to the LCBO. They will be happy to replace it for you (or refund you). That is exactly what I did, and the second bottle of Château de Surville Prestige was much better.

This wine from France’s Rhône Valley has flavours of blackberries, black pepper, and cedar. It would go great with roast chicken or lamb chops. At $18.95, the Château de Surville Prestige is a quality wine that I hope you check out…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2008 in France, Red Wine, Syrah

 
 
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