If you read my last post, I mentioned that I’m going to start pulling directly from my WSET wine notes notebook for some of my reviews. Some of these wines (like the wines below) were specifically requested by my course. (Again, we are meant to try a variety of quality levels in order to gain a better understanding of how to gauge different wine tiers.) These reviews are quick, fairly succinct, but include an explanation as to my reasoning behind any conclusions I’ve determined. I, of course, welcome any feedback from those who have gone through the program. Cheers.
I’ve been going out of my comfort zone and purchasing wines I probably wouldn’t otherwise, all so I can experience a broader range in conjunction with my WSET Diploma course. That range means varietals, countries, winemaking methods of course. But it also means different levels of quality—as this is one of the most important points when writing your tasting notes for the exam. The next couple of reviews are literally going to be notes taken from my WSET notebook. They’ll be quick, fairly succinct, but include an explanation as to my reasoning behind any conclusions I’ve determined.
Who likes a cool-climate Syrah? *Raises hand.* Syrah is one of the varieties that my partner in wine crime and I don’t agree on—meaning, he always wants it and I’m way picky about it. It was when I was working on an article for Edible Silicon Valley, discovering the Rhône wines of the South Bay (read: Where We Rhône: Wine Trends In Silicon Valley) that I discovered the broad range of styles that can come from the Syrah grape. And it was during an interview with renowned winemaker Ross Cobb that it dawned on me that I truly gravitate toward the subtle, but undoubtedly structured, Syrahs grown in cooler climates. “We’ve always known that this area (Sonoma Coast) is an outstanding place for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” Cobb said. “But I’ve always thought that it’s also an outstanding cool Northern Rhône climate here.” He’s right. (Read more: Technical Review: Anaba Wines).
Well, today I bring to you that experience—that experience of subtlety, finesse, structure, and a small snippet of the Northern Rhône with a taste of Radio-Coteau’s 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah.
Judge a book by its cover? Judge a wine by it’s label. I chose the Spicy Vines Dragon’s Kiss Syrah for its awesome label and chose their rosé of the same variety for the same reason. But also, because I thought it’d be an interesting “experiment” to see how they express the same grape in “rosé form”…