To those who know me, they’re not surprised to hear that I’m a big fan of Columbia Crest Reserve wines. This 2006 Syrah is not only a real value at an average cost of ~$17, but it also exhibits some restraint and balance which is hard to find at this price point. To me, this has the boldness that you’d expect from Syrah with its black pepper notes, but I found a caramel-like mid palate that I didn’t expect. It also has a muted jammy-ness which helps it stand up to a variety of foods (in tonight’s case – a dry rubbed pork loin chop – let me know if you want the dry rub recipe). I don’t think the vintage will matter much with this wine, so if you see it, grab a bottle and let me know what you think. Cheers.
Rather than my traditional inclusion of the wine label, I’m instead including a picture of the inside of the facility at Chappellet on Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley. This serene location with the natural light shining in was magnificent. Opening up the 2005 Syrah with a good friend last night, we were all transported back to our visit to Chappellet 2 years ago (it’s worth a visit). The Syrah was more of a traditional Rhone varietal with some ground pepper notes holding up the fruit – translation is that it’s not a fruity exhibition, but rather a more balanced, restrained presentation that we enjoyed.
With the assistance of Chef Kris at Tapiloes 53, we selected this wonderful Syrah to pair with courses 3-5 of our meal. This is a big Syrah with opulent fruit, vanilla and a bit of spice. I don’t have much experience with Spanish wines, but if you told me this was a Napa Syrah, I’d have no problem believing it. This wine not only paired well with our dinner, but was also a pleasure to drink. It had a silky finish and got better as it opened up. I’ll keep my eyes out for it here (and you should too).
Bartholemew Park is one of the vineyards we really enjoy visiting when we go to Napa & Sonoma. The staff are welcoming and the wine is consistently a winner, plus it’s a great value for the quality. We first went there on a recommendation from another vineyard who sent us there for their Zinfandel (which I’ll discuss when we open the Zin). When we were there last time, they opened up a new release for us which we bought a bottle of as well and that’s the bottle mentioned in the title here.
The Syrah, once it opened up, was silky and spicy all at once which is an interesting combination. I thought it had hints of stone fruit, like a plum as well. Still no scoring, but hopefully this weekend.