Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mary Hits A Home Run Without Steroids!

Move over Barry Bond! Our friend Mary hit a home run and batted in four great Syrahs. She is batting a thousand. We had some friends over to taste Syrah blind. Our tasters were, Barbara, Arnie, Bill, Marianne, Diane and Mary. We tasted four Syrahs one each from Washington, California, France and Australia. There were no statistically significant differences among them and there was considerable variability. To some extent this reflected preferences for different styles. All of the wines were excellent. The French wine in particular stood out as elegant and refined but old. It was the 1985 Cote Rotie, Cotes Brune et Blonde from Guigal. The California wine was initially appealingly fruity, but it seemed to lose the fruit as the evening wore on. It was a 2003 La Sirena Napa Syrah. The Washington wine seemed solid with good fruit, bigger than the previous two wines. It was 2004 Sequel from the Columbia Valley. The Australian was similar to the Washington wine, but a little less fruity initially. The Australian selection was 2002 Two Hands Angel's Share Shiraz. The tasting was followed by a casual supper featuring Boeuf Bourguignon. This French style beef stew in red wine sauce greatly enhanced the wines all of which were a good match with the stew. With the food, the Angel's share and the Sequel stood out. Perhaps this should not be surprising since the Sequel was make by Australian superstar, John Duval of Penfold Grange fame. We had two other wines that evening. Mary, just happened to have a bottle of 2005 Plan Pegau and a bottle of 2005 Domaine La Milliere Chateauneuf-du-Papes in her car. Predictably the Plan Pegau was rustic, but delicious with the Boeuf Bourguignon. The CDP was delicious, fruity and complex. It went especially well with the cheese course. We finished off the evening with some Port and Armagnac and a good time was had by all! Oh, yes! Mary's home run. She identified the country of origin of each of the four Syrahs blind! Wine, Si, Steroids, no!


  • At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Jae said…

    Well, most timely and convenient! I happen to be tasked with making a Boeuf Bourguignon for Christmas eve this year (for a family of excellent cooks, no less: help!). May I ask what wine you would suggest as the base wine for this most tasty dish?

    Thanks for your advice -- I very much enjoy your site.

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Jae,the recipe we used for this "totally retro" dish is from Julia Child, Volume One. We used Two Buck Chuck Merlot. Two Buck Chuck Shiraz works well, too. We threw in the sediment from the Syrahs, too. The more the merrier. Any red works, the bigger the better. Given the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro, I don't think I would actually use Burgundy. Besides, it's too expensive. Pinot Noir is a little on the light side. I would use Syrah/Shiraz, Zin, Cab, Merlot, etc. The sediment from the bottom of the bottle is great for this dish and cooking in general. Gene


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