One week ago I featured some Zinfandel ports by Temecula’s Doffo Winery and Avila’s Alapay Cellars. I mentioned in that article that I thought both of them also had equally impressive dry table wines, and today I would like to go back to these wineries again and showcase just what I mean. Since it’s Syrah Week the choice was pretty obvious, just like we did last week, today we’re having a one on one taste off.
For more information on either one of these wineries please see last week’s post. Not only will you find some background info on the wineries, you’ll come across some really great dessert wines.
Wine #1: Doffo 2008 Temecula Valley Syrah
The aroma is full of warm, spicy cherry preserves and medium-dark milk chocolate. Tones of melted licorice and mixed herbs play off of toasted coconut, vanilla, and cranberry, leading into an edge of fruitcake with a spin in the glass.
It opens with a lovely, dark presence of raspberry and cranberry preserves, vanilla cream, and smooth milk chocolate. There is a supple caramel quality mixed with cinnamon, allspice, and clove toward the mid palate, and a lingering finish of mixed spices and sweets. This is a wonderfully pleasant wine with a gentle delivery and silky, medium body. It has very nice intensity and a somewhat uncommon, but much appreciated, stylistic take on the varietal.
Worth Trying. 91 points.
Wine #2: Alapay Cellars 2007 Santa Barbara County Stolpman Vineyard Syrah Reserve
As the name implies, this is a single vineyard wine grown on Santa Barbara’s Stolpman Vineyard. Originally a vineyard that grew exceptional fruit to be sold to winemakers, Stolpman has recently launched a wine label and opened a tasting room of their own. As a result, they will no longer be selling their Syrah grapes to Alapay, making this the final vintage of this wine. It spent 14 months in oak prior to bottling and only 247 cases were produced.
Dark, deep, and faintly smoky, this wine’s nose is pretty impressive from the very start. Peppered black currant and chocolate covered licorice play with mixed kitchen spices and tons of fleeting elements of complexity that seem to erupt from the glass like tiny bits of shrapnel.
Delicately ripe and sweet, with just a hint of jamminess, this is a hedonistic glass of wine. Fresh black cherry and blackcurrant juice splash across the palate, creating a very intense, mouth filling experience. To that a somewhat dusty suede component is added, with dark chocolate, burnt caramel, and a hint of dried berries. All of these flavors mingle beautifully toward the end and fade elegantly into the finish. This wine manages to blend a variety of styles together at once it seems. The fruit is both jammy and fresh and juicy, the palate has softly dusty tannins but still remains creamy and smooth, and there is a ton of complex intensity while the wine still remains well composed and reserved. A very nice effort and definitely…
Worth Buying. 92 points.
Please Leave a Comment:
The Grapevine: Ever had a Syrah from either of these regions? What were your thoughts?