I’m trying to plan a trip to Paso Robles. When I finally get there I know one of my first stops has to be Zenaida Cellars. They have killer Rhone-style wines — just check out their flagship red blend Fire Sign. But I think one of the main indicators of a truly stand-out Rhone-style winemaker are his or her take on the individual components: I want to know that the G, the S, and the M can stand on their own. Today I present to you the S of Zenaida Cellars — the 2014 Zenaida Cellars Syrah.

About the Wine:

Flavor Profile: Beautifully thick on the pour, as if poured from the voluptuous Venus. There’s no looking through the glass, but just like almost every romantic painting of Venus, this wine has an aura — an aura of the most delicate baby pink.

The nose speaks of this beauty — soft, supple, overripe red fruits take center stage with notes of black cherries and strawberries. But if you take the time, you’ll sense the green stems of these fruits of well with an underlining herbaceousness that gives even the scent a full figure.

The palate is just as plush as any of the artists’ depiction of Venus — soft, silky mouthfeel, with an over-arcing essence of oak that leads to woodsy (either cedar or pine) filled finish.  Yet, Zenaida Cellars Syrah, like the goddess, maintains a strength — there’s a solid backbone of acidity that carries the weight of all the, what I would call, indulgent aspects of the wine, so you’re never overwhelmed by the richness of the Syrah’s beauty.

Food Pairing: Steak. Yes, steak and Syrah. If you’re skeptical, know that, even though this was my idea, I was too. But remember this is no typical Syrah — this Syrah has backbone, gumption, and enough attitude to stand up to the likes of a hearty meat. Of course I balanced this with roasted marble potatoes and a blueberry and blue cheese herb-based salad.

Perfect pairing? Yes and no. The Syrah is solidly structured to stand up to a steak (namely fillet mignon) — no question about it. My error (I feel) was in the salad. In the future, I’d opt for a more complementary fruit (I’m thinking of those slightly overripe strawberries) and a less schtanky cheese. Then, my pairing would indeed be perfect.

More Info: If you have not yet read my review of Zenaida Cellars Fire Sign definitely do. I received the 2014 Zenaid Cellars Syrah as a sample for review (thank you!). For more information about Zenaida Cellars and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Zenaida Cellars website.

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