Miraflores Winery was founded in 1998 by Dr. Victor Alvarez, a native Columbian whose familial background in cattle and dairy farming was a catalyst for him to start his own winery. Though he’s pursued a successful medical career, his passion lies in the vineyard, and in 1998 he planted his first vines of Syrah and Zinfandel in California’s El Dorado County. Today, the estate boasts 45 acres planted to vines with 16 different grape varieties on the 252 acre property. Alvarez has hands-on involvement both in the vineyard and in the winery, but gives full credit to his winemaker Marco Capelli and the rest of the winemaking team for the success of his passion project.
About the Wine: The Miraflores 2011 Estate Syrah is made from 100% Syrah grapes harvested from the Miraflores El Dorado estate. Read more about the El Dorado wine region.
Aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 20 months.
Flavor Profile: Straight out of the bottle the Miraflores Estate Syrah emits aromas of dark but ripe fruits, wet-dank-humid forest, and marinated meat. The wine is almost goopy on the pour with it’s dark shade of reddish-brown, settling into the perfect pool of old blood in the glass. Despite that dark demeanor, the initial aromas are quite perfume-y with subtle dark fruits lingering in the background — it quite reminds me of an old-fashioned lady ready to go out for the evening. Swirl, and the wine releases more of those dark floral elements, macerated black cherries, and plum compote. Yes, these dark fruits have been loved — to death. Move your nose to the top of the glass to find a bit of green vegetation, black pepper, and just a hint of cinnamon.
On the palate, the Syrah is very full bodied and dark fruit forward. The tannins are so soft — the very definition of “plush.” Present with a purpose, they give the mouthfeel strength and the wine its character, without being tacky or traditionally “tannic.” The acid is present, but shy, lingering just in the back of the throat. Dominant flavors include bittersweet chocolate, blueberries, black cherry skins, black velvet roses, and a leafy kale or spinach.
Food Pairing: I paired the Miraflores 2011 Estate Syrah with a vegetable pizza: red sauce, red bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, jalapeño peppers, and a sprinkle of chili flakes. What I loved was how the spicy elements in my pizza brought out the fruits in the wine while the toasty bread crust amplified the bittersweet chocolate. Perfect pairing? Well you can hardly go wrong with pizza — but I’d love to re-live this wine with something off the barbecue…
More Info: I received the Miraflores 2011 Estate Syrah as a sample for review. Retail: $30. For more information and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Miraflores Winery website.
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