A Syrah A Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Keeps the doctor away. That’s how that expression goes, right? Well, that’s how it should read, particularly if the Syrah in question is the 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Syrah. The weather here in DC turned (for a moment anyway) to chilly and the reds in the cellar started to call my name.  The Cornerstone Syrah has a real cork closure and retails for $35.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The nose. Oh, my, the nose. This Syrah has that meaty note I love in Syrahs.

2.) We had this with beef stew. Perfect for a cold evening.

3.) I could also see this in the summer with my BBQ ribs.

4.) Cornerstone Cellars really delivers across their portfolio.

On the nose I got spice, cinnamon, baking spice, berries, black cherry, meat, and the scent of bbq. In the mouth I found black cherry, spice, black fruit, berries, and anise.  I loved the tart black fruit with the spice lurking around.

 

Run and Get It. Now.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

No, seriously, why are you still reading instead of going to go get some of this wine? Perhaps the humidity is on my brain, but I can’t think of anything better to drink the DC swamp than the 2013 Cornerstone Corallina Rose of Syrah. In fact, I did just so yesterday. Twice. Once at Rhone Rangers and then a bottle over dinner last night. The Corallina retails for $25 and sports a screw cap.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It has acid, structure, and great fruit.

2.) 90 degrees and humid yesterday. Chilled down and drinking it on the porch, I could almost forget about the weather.

3.) I love a Rose of Syrah as the Syrah tends to lend body to the wine.

4.) For all the Rose naysayers, try this and you will be a convert.

On the nose I found strawberry, raspberry, cherry, stone fruit, and lime. The palate reflected the nose perfectly. The racy acidity balanced nicely with just a hint of a fuller note on the finish.

 

 

Poser? No, Pousseur.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Theoretically it is spring here in the DC area. Given today’s weather with a high of 61 and cold rain, I remain unconvinced. However, I am taking the opportunity to work my way through some of the red wines still lurking in the basement. Tonight I chose the 2010 Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah which has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 12.8% alcohol by volume, and the current 2012 vintage retails for $26. I can’t find the photo I took of this wine.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Pass the lamb please.

2.) We had this with sausages, which also worked, but I really wanted some grilled lamb.

3.) Lots of complexity in the wine at this price point.

4.) The wine had an incredibly long and lingering finish.

 

On the nose I got plums, pencil lead, spice, and meat. In the mouth I found cocoa, plum, berries, blue fruit, spice and a finish full of lingering dusty cocoa covered blueberries. I kept imagining myself sipping this on an early September night around a campfire.

 

What wine goes with a furlough?

 

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importer, F. Wildman and Sons.

Especially a furlough happening in 80+ degree October? Something cheap and cheerful, cheap being the most operative word in that sentence. I’m on my fourth day of furlough and thought I’d dig around for something that isn’t a budget buster and is a pretty tasty quaffer as well.  No need to resort to drinking swill when there are plenty of bargains to be had out there in the sub $10 range. Today I chose the 2012 Marc Roman Rose. It’s a rose of Syrah, has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, and is on sale online for only $7.99.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) For the same price (or even a little less depending on your market) as a critter wine, you can instead have this delicate and interesting rose. Get this.

2.) In general, looking for wines with an F. Wildman import label has served me fairly well. I love their selections overall and they seem to do a pretty decent job with QPR.

3.) Rose, which I tend to drink in spades in the summer months, also makes an excellent foil for the upcoming heavier holiday foods season.

4.) My photos definitely don’t capture it, but the rose in the bottle has the prettiest pale pink color.

 

On the nose of the wine I found raspberry, cherry, white flowers, and apricot.  The wine had a really floral and delicate nose.  In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, and lime. I took two notes about the acid on the palate, which evidently, I thought was well done. It’s really the acidity on rose that holds it together for me, minus that you end up with an often cloying, flabby wine….which I’ve had my fair share of over the years. Put out the Marc Roman Rose with your stuffing and sweet potatoes and you’ll have a happy crowd.

 

 

 

Syrah Kind of Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

We had a cold cold week in the DC area last week and I was digging red wines. I wrestled the 2008 Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah from it’s comfortable resting place in the cellar and dragged it upstairs to pair with some good old fashioned meatloaf.  Seems like comfort food and red wine make it just a little cold out. Especially when your heating system decided to give out for the second time in the winter and you needed to seek alternate sources of warmth. The Bonny Doon Syrah sports a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13.9% alcohol by volume, and retails for $42.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The Bien Nacido has  a nose you can get lost in.

2.) I’d recommend decanting the Bien Nacido and letting it get some serious air. It kept getting better and better with time in the glass.

3.) I think, given how the wine developed in the glass, combined with the acidity and tannins, the Bien Nacido could easily age for quite some time.

4.) Meatloaf was good, but next time I’d go with my rosemary/mint/mustard/breadcrumb crusted rack of lamb.

 

On the nose I found spice, cedar chest, cinnamon, baking spice, the aroma of Christmas, (pine tree, spices, cookies), espresso, pepper, cherry, and raspberry.  I would have kept sniffing at the wine, but I was afraid to lose my second glass to Matt if I didn’t move on to the palate.  In the mouth I found meat, black cherry, leather, spice, raspberry, plum, pepper, earth, and more black fruit.  Overall, the wine had great structure and acidity and seemed alive in the glass to me.

 

Stepping Up to Rose

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Cornerstone Cellars.

Today turned out to be a gorgeous day in the nation’s capital, so it seemed a perfect time to bust out some Rose. I plucked the 2010 Cornerstone Stepping Stone Corallina Rose from it’s resting place in the basement to join us on the back porch for some afternoon sipping. The Corallina Rose retails for $18, has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.9% alcohol by volume, and is made from 100% Syrah.

1.) If you like your Rose with acid to spare, this one is for you.

2.) The palate mimicked the nose perfectly in this wine.

3.) The Stepping Stone line from Cornerstone is pumping out some great wines, my fav is the Cabernet Franc.

4.) We just stopped by Cornerstone on our latest Napa trip, look for that post soon.

On the nose and in the mouth I got lime, raspberry, cherry, strawberry and spice. The red fruits smelled delicious coupled with the racy acidity on this Rose. Pair with BBQ this summer for a great treat.

 

WBW #71 Rhones Not from the Rhone

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hahn Family Wines.

Rejoice! Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! I missed it so. Though, admittedly, I totally missed the first reincarnation last month…having average about 4 hours of sleep a night and dealing with a fussy newborn, wine was not much happening! But I’m in for this month’s edition hosted by my friend Tim of Wine Cast. He’s chosen Rhones Not from the Rhone as this month’s theme. I must say, I am very partial to the Rhone varietals. Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, ets., are some of my very favorite wines. Oh, and Syrah! Who can forget a good Syrah. And some of the ones I love the most hail from outside the Rhone. A cool climate Syrah from CA is a lovely pleasure!

For this WBW, I chose a wine that represents 3 Rhone grapes. I know Tim asked us to look beyond the normal Grenache and Syrah, but with little spare time, this is my best effort these days.  I think I get a disposition given I have an 11 week old.  My wine is the 2009 Hahn GSM. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. It’s composed of 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, and 3% Mourvedre. Yum. It had a Diam closure and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume. I’m not sure what it retails for as it was a pretty limited release from Hahn Family Wines and I believe it is sold out. You should definitely keep an eye for the next vintage of this from Hahn. They were trying a few different wines this year, including a Grenache Blanc!

On the nose I got strawberry, spice, cedar, baking spices, cinnamon, pepper, cherry, and bacon fat. I could really smell the influence of the Syrah on the nose of the wine, though the Grenache clearly also contributed. I think the Mourvedre showed up more on the palate.  In the mouth I found strawberry, red cherry, spice, blackberry, black cherry, and earth. I found the wine to have nice acidity and structure with good tannins on the finish. Overall the fruit showed as juicy and fresh. I enjoyed this wine very much.
Many thanks to Tim for hosting and I think I got my entry done in time! As always, a tip of the hat to Lenndevours, over at the New York Cork Report, our founding father.

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