Thursday, September 8, 2011
Spann Vineyards 2003 Syrah is what I got my hands on. This wine is out of Kenwood, Ca which is nestled between Santa Rosa and Yountville, so it comes from great, fertile soil. The Kenwood region isn't as well know as other regions in the area, but has some really amazing producers, like: Kenwood, Kunde and Chateau St. Jean.
I wanted to see how big of a difference the aerator makes, so first I poured some of the syrah right into the glass, gave it a slight swirl and took a whiff. The deep red juice was very acidic on first sniff. The more prominent scent was of dark fruit, but nothing specific. then there was an underlying scent that took me a minute to put my finger on, but I decided that it was vanilla pudding. There was a velvety vanilla scent behind the tart fruit nose.
So with that scent profile, I am interested to get down to business. On first sip, the wine is astringent and tight, I could really tell it needed to open up. It's a weird comparison, but if a genie in a bottle had a flavor, I think it would taste something like this. I could tell this syrah wanted to stretch it's legs. On second sip I started to pick up the dried cherries and butterscotch. As it rolled around in my mouth the earthy notes came out and released a bit of licorice. The interesting butterscotch and licorice combo sounds off-putting, but the subtle earthiness and slight sweetness made for an amazing finish that gently lingers.
So let me start by saying, you obviously don't have to have an aerator to open up wines well. Some how people have managed all these years without, but they sure do help with the instant gratification!! So that being said, here's what I got from the opened up glass...
There was a definite scent of dark cherry, unlike before, and now the acidity is muted and the wine has a much mellower nose. The scents were cleaner and more enjoyable.
Allowing the wine to open up really brought out its juiciness. The heaviness of the wine really coated my tongue, but didn't stifle the flavors. Licorice notes were a bit more prominent and the vanilla and butterscotch were not really there. This syrah is on the dry side, but has a really fantastic finish. The finish is just long enough to think about your sip, but finishes in time to make you want another sip.
This wine is a big wine and will pair wonderfully with a number of different things. I feel like the wines complexity would be lost on a red sauce, so I would stick with red meat. When I was drinking this wine, I wanted to eat lamb. I think the best pairing for the Spann Syrah would be grilled lamb chops with a nice heavy sauce. Some other tasty options might be a well-seasoned ribeye with a rich demi glace or bordelaise, or some nice medium rare venison.
This wine is big and bold and I am a huge fan. I was lucky enough to find it at Elise Coastal Dining, here in Pensacola, FL. They have an amazing wine list and this gem was a great buy at $42. With phenomenal food, great service and awesome wine list, Elise is a great option for dinner, drinks or both.