Posts Tagged ‘Syrah’

FINALLY!  I have finally found an Australian vino that doesn’t have an extroverted sensation of dirt!  More clearly, the expressive quality of the Australian terroir [imho] reflected in the palate of the wine is very often a detraction from an otherwise delicious bit of vino.

As with my last entry on Australian wine, the Barossa Blonde, the Barossa Valley in South Australia is a rather prolific and fiercely protected viticultural area becoming more and more known for its rarer varieties of cultivated v. vinifera. Specifically Viognier.

Viognier was almost totally wiped out in France due to a combination of The Blight and WWI.  A terribly difficult grape to grow, conditions must be completely ideal for it to flourish.  And flourish it has.

I don’t normally go for Viognier as a wine of choice, it can be very often heavily floral and thick to the point of being waxy.  When blended, these qualities are muted and complimentary to its mated pair.

Yalumba’s Shiraz Viognier 2009 is a tasty blend. Complex and exotic, the peppery characteristic of the shiraz is balanced out by the floral notes of the viognier; cinnamon and black tea from the shiraz is softened  to violets with the viognier.

I sipped this vino all by itself to best appreciate the juiciness on the palate.  I’d suggest cedar-plank salmon, or pork tenderloins; steaks might be a little too heavy.

LCBO listed at ~$13/btl.  I like this a lot!




**image credit – The Winery. makes no claims whatsoever to ownership and republishes image under fair use provisions for review and critique.

Batting 3/3 on the Recommended list of South African wines, trying another from a different appellation didn’t require much hesitation.  The Boekenhoutskloof winery is located in the Coastal Region and are trying to give their French counterparts a run for their money.

Exploring the winery’s website, I’m pleased to see that they and their neighbors are actively engaging in concentrated conservation efforts aimed at removing alien and invasive species of plants.  They have discovered a species of plant unique to the area and are propagating it throughout the property. Also in their book of tricks, the winery is contributing to a PhD student’s studies of the Crested Porcupine – the namesake of this chosen vino.

This densely red vino has a spicy nose of primarily cracked peppercorns and anise. Even though its a whopping 14.5%alc/vol, this is barely noticeable.  The mouth-feel is rather full-bodied with flavors of ripe black cherry and mulberry. A moderately soft tannin and a smooth finish has notes of bitter cocoa and a decently integrated woodiness.

For dinner, I had concocted a bacon-wrapped inside-round roast of beef served au jus with roasted potatoes/carrots/turnip.  Even my non-vino dinner partner was pleasantly surprised at how well this vino paired with the beef.

Another winner from South Africa making it 4/4!  LCBO ~$15/btl

Jou goeie gesondheid!



**image credit – – image linked to – republished under fair use provisions for review and critique. claims no ownership.

**image credit – The Crested Porcupine via Flickr.  Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful photography.

Ok, so I thought I’d be steering clear of Argentine wines for a while, but I have been hearing some conflicting reviews about this Syrah. Syrah is very similar to Shiraz but with subtle varietal nuances. 2008, as we’ve explored in previous posts, was not a very good year in most viticultural areas in South America; some wineries elected not to even release any wines vinted as 2008. This said, 2009 seems to be a much better crop hence a more refined final product.

Soft and supple with a medium body, this dense dark red wine carries flavors of mulberry and blackberry to the palate as lingering essences of anise and plum keeps the palate interested.

I savoured this Trapiche Syrah 2009 with my dinner of braised lamb shanks. May I also suggest a smoked Gouda drizzled with ancient Balsamic vinegar as an appetizer? For a budget-priced wine at around $9/blt, its definitely a great value for the cash.