Madrigal Petite Sirah 2013, Napa Valley
Inky black-blue color precedes perfumed aromas of cassis, espresso, and dark chocolate. Intense dark currant, blackberry, and plush plum flavors initially fill the palate. This heady, explosive wine then finishes long with BBQ rub spices, sweet toasted oak, and round tannins. Pairs spectacularly with grilled meat, sausage, pizza (and anything with savory red sauce), and robust hard chesses like Parmesan, Pecorino, Romano, Sharp Cheddar, Emmental and Manchego.
Zaca Mesa Z-Cuvee 2014$25.00
Zaca Mesa wines are made from sustainably farmed grapes that are estate grown, produced and bottled. With over 40 years of grape growing experience in the Santa Ynez Valley, the winemaking and vineyard teams meticulously farm our vineyard to focus on terroir-driven wines. They began growing Rhône varieties in 1978 and they were the first to plant Syrah in Santa Barbara County. Zaca Mesa has been producing this unique blend called the Z-Cuvee since 1993. It is inspired by the wines of Côtes du Rhône found in the southern Rhône Valley of France, where they have been blending these varieties together for centuries to create wines that are greater than the sum of their parts. The 2014 Zaca Mesa Z-Cuvee is an extremely balanced and complex Rhône blend. Grenache adds rich raspberry aromas and flavors; Mourvèdre brings notes of blueberry, meat and spice; Syrah, adds flavors of blackberry and ripe tannins; Cinsault brings a touch of dusty berry. With a nice sense of berryish fruit leading the way and hardwood kiss of richness helping out, this wine is attractive in aroma and also in supple-textured flavors. It firms up at the back without giving up anything to dryness, and while it can age a little, it does not demand cellar time.
Truchard Estate Syrah 2016, Carneros$34.00
The 2016 vintage is nearly identical to the outstanding 2016 harvest! A dry winter followed by a warm, dry spring resulted in excellent berry set and an above average crop. Moderate temperatures throughout the growing season easily brought the fruit to full maturity. The wines of 2014 are elegant, with intense aromas and flavors. A complex nose of cassis, ripe cherry, and black plum; with a hint of vanilla, leather, and white pepper. The mouth is layered with jammy flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, and currants; followed by mineral and cracked black pepper. Mouth-filling tannins provide an opulent finish of fruit and spice.
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge 2015$34.00
Patelin is French for village or community and the Patelin wines from Tablas Creek use fruit from neighboring vineyards as well as their own. The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. The wine incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity. The 2015 Patelin de Tablas has a dark, Syrah-driven nose that is creamy, meaty, minerally, and a little bit wild. A little blue fruit lurks underneath and comes out with air. The mouth shows both Grenache and Syrah's influence, with black plum, boysenberry, chalky minerality and nice powdered sugar tannins that come out on the finish. Decant if you're drinking now, or age for up to a decade for secondary and tertiary flavors of meat and earth. Very Highly Recommended – Dan Berger's Wintage Experiences.