Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Color Me Syrah

I don't know what it is about Syrah, but when I drink it I see colors.

Syrah blends from France and Shiraz from Australia make me see red. Cool-climate Syrahs make me see blue. And sometimes, I find a Syrah that makes me want to put on the Rolling Stones' Paint It Black.

The 2005 Kendric Syrah falls into the final category. I received this bottle as a sample from WineQ, but you can put it in your own Q and enjoy it for just $17.99. At this price, the wine certainly qualifies as an excellent QPR option if you like your Syrahs bold and showy, but moody and complex as well. Sound like any musicians you know?

The wine was true garnet in color, like my grandmother's garnet ring, and it turned a bit purplish towards the rims. (My grandmother was a flapper--she would have loved the Stones). When I pulled the cork and poured the first glass, I was bowled over by spicy aromas and a bit of plum and cherry fruit. As the wine opened up you could also smell black tar. The flavors reminded me of macerated plums that had been sitting on a warm countertop all day, and there were also spicy flavors of allspice, clove, and nutmeg. The spices turned more herbal and lively as the wine rolled over your tongue, and I thought I tasted sage and eucalyptus. The long, silky aftertaste picks up a stony note and wraps around and picks up the tarry smell that you get on first sniff. The overall impression of this wine is black rather than blue or red, and its richness and acidity are in perfect balance. We had it with a delicious vegetable chili and garlic rice, and the wine neither overwhelmed nor was overwhelmed by the strong flavors of the dish. Instead the sweet fruit and the spices matched the tomatoes, vegetables, and chili flavors note by note.

One thing to know about this wine: it's sold without a foil capsule, so don't be alarmed when your wine shows up with a visible cork. Once upon a time they bottled wine with a lead capsule to protect the cork from rats and insects. This is happily not necessary today, and Kendric owner and winemaker Stewart Johnson writes on his webpage: PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL MY 2005 WINES, AND ALL FUTURE VINTAGES, ARE BOTTLED WITHOUT A FOIL CAPSULE WHICH I REGARD AS POINTLESS, WASTEFUL AND ANNOYING. Since I wrote about sustainability yesterday, I will point out that your decision to drink Kendric Syrah not only makes sound fiscal sense, it will also save one foil capsule from ending up in the trash, or using up precious energy being recycled.

Leave your foil-cutter in the drawer, put on Mick and the boys, and order yourself some Kendric Syrah. The winery is sold out, but as far as I know WineQ still has some in stock.



dhonig said...

Few reviews actually make me want to buy a bottle of wine. I sure hope WineQ isn't All Sold Out. I will have them Send It To Me, I Ain't Too Proud to Beg. I hope they don't tell me You Can't Always Get What You Want. My other concern is the heat. Will they wait to ship if it's too hot? I don't mind waiting, because Time Is On my Side. I do look forward to drinking it whenver it gets here. After all, I Might As Well Get Juiced.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I keep wondering why the foil capsules are still around. At least they aren't made from lead any more.

paperkicks said...

Thanks for your colorful organization to the complexities of Syrah. I'm still working on developing a palate for this grape style...I'm thinking blue would suit me well.

Velvet Fog said...

Good for them!
We don't need no stinking foil wrappers.

Anonymous said...

Now your talking, Syrah and the Stones?! Great to know about this, can't wait to find it.