Wine of the Month – November 2017


This month’s column is sponsored by JAX Fine Wines & Spirits, which is celebrating its 20th year in Cumming, and just opened a new location in the Buford-Braselton area.

YOU SHOULD KNOW SYRAH

Syrah has never captured huge numbers in the varietal market, trailing Cabernet Sauvignon (and Merlot and Pinot Noir) by substantial margins. But from the perspective of a wine consumer, Syrah is often the better choice, offering more variety and value than Cabernet Sauvignon.

For starters, it’s easier to grow in a variety of locales and climates. Even in cool regions, like New York’s Finger Lakes, where Cabernet Sauvignon rarely loses its underripe bell-pepper-like pyrazines, Syrah can deliver bright cherry fruit tinged with peppery spice. Likewise, in hot climates, like Australia’s Barossa Valley, Syrah outperforms Cabernet Sauvignon. While Cabernet loses its delicate fragrance there, Syrah is able to maintain a degree of elegance despite the heat.

The worldwide demand and acclaim for Cabernet Sauvignon means those wines are typically more expensive than their Syrah counterparts. In 19th-century France, Rhône Syrah was used to improve Bordeaux’s Cabernet-based wines. Bordeaux thus treated was said to be “Hermitaged”, and sold for higher prices than unadulterated Bordeaux. In historic terms then, consumers have the chance to buy Syrah-based wines at a relative discount.

One selection from Visan in the Southern Rhone region of France, comes from a boutique producer, Domaine de la Bastide. Vincent Boyer took over at the winery when his father unexpectedly passed away in 2008. La Gloire de Mon Pere, a beautiful 100 percent Syrah, is Vincent’s tribute to his father. In fact, the wine’s name means “The Glory of My Father.”

The Syrah is sourced from 50-year-old vines. A micro supply of oxygen is implemented during fermentation, which rounds the tannins. The wine was aged 6 months in barrels. This wine has a very beautiful deep purple color. The nose is rich and powerful with notes of blackberry, crushed strawberry, raspberry jam, and is mixed with subtle notes of baked pastries. The palate is velvety, but full of freshness, with nice acidity, for a well-balanced wine. The tannins are tight but full of future. This 2014 Syrah has a nice long finish.

The wine can be cellared for the next 4-5 years with no issues, but is drinking beautifully right now. Suggested retail price is $24. JAX is offering this wine for $19.99 through February 28, 2018. 

Check out the weekly wine tasting schedule at jaxspirits.com.