Que Syrah, Syrah

With our bbq pulled pork, purple mashed potatoes and broccoli, I decided that a big Syrah would be an excellent match to the spicy bbq sauce. I usually prefer a Zinfandel with my bbq, but I don’t have any left in my collection that I haven’t reviewed yet so Syrah it was.

The bottle was a 2003 Alderbrook Syrah that came in a club shipment. Again, I have no idea how much it cost. It was 14.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. The bottle was really heavy and had the largest punt that I’ve ever seen.

On the nose I found blackberries, bramble fruit and a hint of leather. In the mouth there were dark fruits, it was earthy and the blackberries really stood out. The color in the glass was a deep, dark red that barely let any light through.

I would definitely suggest decanting this bottle if you are going to drink it now. The flavors were wound quite tight to begin with and I think my evaluation of it with dinner suffered. About an hour after dinner though, this was a smooth wine with a long finish. If I had let it sit before dinner I think the flavors would have complimented the bbq well, but as it was, the flavors were just not showing well when we drank it with dinner. I would also suggest hanging onto this one for another 2+ years, I think it will be great in a couple years.


When the Moon Hits Your Eyes like a Big Pizza Pie…

We’ve had some company with us this week, so I decided to make some homemade pizza as a slightly fancier mid-week dinner. And with it, we started out with a bottle of 2004 Alderbrook Carignane.

The wine came in a club shipment and didn’t have a price, but the 2003 was $19, so I would guess it was around the same price. It was 14.1% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On the nose there were plums, dark berries, spice, leather and oddly enough, the scent of a forest. The aromas just kept coming as the glass sat out. In the mouth the wine was incredibly smooth and is drinking really well, though the layers of flavors make me think it could age for quite a bit longer. In the mouth there were dark fruits, black cherries and blackberries.

Overall the wine had a great mouth feel and I wish we had more of it hanging around. I picture this with pasta sauce based dishes, the spice would be a good compliment to the sauce.

I was poking around the Alderbrook website this afternoon and discovered that Alderbrook is part of the Terlato Wine Group. I wonder if it’s possible that the one bottle of Terlato that we drank back in February came in a club shipment? It was a mystery to me as to where it came from since I am 100% positive that we did not go to the Terlato Vineyard and it has been driving me nuts ever since we drank it trying to figure out how it arrived in our wine rack. However, it might make sense that it came from an Alderbrook shipment since they are all part of the same group. I guess mystery solved, finally. Here’s to hoping that I will no longer have the lapses of my spreadsheet now that I am faithfully using Cellar Tracker.

Ah….that’s good.

I garnered immense satisfaction from the Pinot Noir we drank the other night. It was a bottle of 2005 Alderbrook Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and it was absolutely delicious. I have no idea what this cost, it came in the club shipment, but I assume it’s around $30ish given the total cost of the shipment. The wine comes in a tremendously heavy bottle (seems to be a trend this week), weighs in at 14.2% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On those nose of this one I get a delicious scent of raspberries, strawberries and cedar. Yum. Seriously, yum. In the mouth, fresh raspberries filled all my taste buds, followed by a slightly earthy feeling. After sitting out for a while I found notes of strawberries.

I really enjoyed how the wine developed as I drank it. The fruit kept coming, but overall this was a very light wine and I didn’t feel bowled over by the fruit or alcohol at all. It worked so well with our dinner, which was homemade chicken noodle soup (I’m making the most of winter dishes while I still can, though that damn rodent seems to have been wrong about winter ending since we are expecting 2-4 inches of snow today!). My final words on this one are lip smacking good.

Juicy and Delicious

My first note on this bottle of 2004 Old Vine Zinfandel from Alderbrook is “yum.” And really that sums it up. Everything you would expect from a big CA zinfandel. Big mouthfuls of blackberries and cherries, just full of fruit in the mouth. As well as a very smooth bottle of wine in the mouth. There was just a bit of heat on the finish, but not much and not offensive. I didn’t decant this one because I wanted a big red to pair with our leftover pizza and bbq pork (I know, kind of a disgusting combo of food, but it was time to eat the leftovers!). It was a very juicy bottle of wine, and it had a gorgeous inky purple color in the glass.

On the nose there were cherries and blackberries as well as just a bit of oak. I would suggest drinking this bottle now or relatively soon, I think it’s just about perfect now. Although I didn’t decant this one, perhaps you might want to, not for the sake of letting it air, but because it had a lot of sediment in the bottle, all of which ended up in our glasses. This one is 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure and ran us around $20 in our club shipment.

Made with Wine

Oh how delicious. We picked up a bottle of Caramel Chardonnay Sauce at Alderbrook Vineyards. I served it as an appetizer for Thanksgiving, oddly enough, with pretzel sticks. The really thin little pretzel sticks. The salt of the pretzel is a great contrast to the very sweet sauce. You can actually taste the chardonnay in the sauce and it is just fabulous. A bottle was $18.95 minus our club discount.

I loved visiting Alderbrook. We were there at the very end of the day and the wine-maker happened to be behind the counter so we got to pepper him with questions about his wine. I loved how big and open their tasting room was, as it offers a very large selection of wine merchandise and food products. I would really like to return some day when we have more time to spend there and perhaps enjoy a light lunch on their porch.