To Syrah With Love

It was a thrill upon a hill
Everybody was feelin' real

Bernard Faurie, Hermitage, 2007
Typical, if I may allow myself a sense of familiarity with that most venerable of Rhone appellations: black pepper, olives and iron on the nose, complementing black fruit that shows just a touch of sweetness. On the palate, the muscular black fruit winds up in a tannic, rusty finish. While the tannins contribute to the rusty seasoning of the fruit, they don't come off as rustic and they let the mellow sweetness of the mature fruit shine through.  It's not especially long or deep, its charm lies rather in the spirit it evokes of that grand hill where the Rhone river turns. Bernard Faurie makes several cuvées and apparently the only way to know which is which is by the color of the capsule. This is the Bessards/Méal cuvée. (June 13, 2020)

Wind Gap Winery, Sonoma Coast, Armagh Vineyard, Syrah, 2014
Purchased at the winery tasting room when we visited three years ago, this was the most tannic of the four Sonoma Syrahs we tasted, but you couldn't tell that from this bottle; right now the acidity and the ripeness of the fruit are at the fore, working together but not quite in total harmony yet. The nose is extremely typical of the grape, floral, peppery, a touch of bacon. It's tasty and vibrant enough to enjoy now, but its future will outstrip its present. One of Syrah's great fortes is how savory it is when the wine is mature and while the Armagh isn't quite there yet, enough umami cuts through on the finish to inspire hope. It's just  matter of three-four years I was reluctant to give it - competition for fridge space, you know. (June 20, 2020)

Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Vendange Entière, 2016
I think in 2016 this was mostly Petite Sirah, but it still fits in with the spirit of the post's wordplay title and stylistically as well: the Vendange Entière (whole cluster) has the same floral, peppery, succulent character of a good Saint Joseph. I've been following the 2016 for a couple of years and the palate is still not as complex and harmonious as the nose. (June 28, 2020)