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WINE VARIETAL : Syrah

Wine Cellar Picks
Here are some of my current favorites among the many delicious Syrah wines:

BY THOM ELKJER, wine editor

Beckmen Santa Ynez Valley Estate 2001 ($25)
An aromatic adventure in black plums, baking spices, anise and hazelnuts, the wine has matching flavors, a chewy texture, and a long warm finish. Give it at least two years in the bottle to finish knitting together.

63°F/1 7°C
IDEAL SERVING TEMPURATURE FOR SYRAH

63°F / 17°C would be the equivalent of leaving the wine out at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Cline Sonoma County 2001 ($16)
Meet the leathery, cedary side of Syrah, consistent from the aromas through the finish. This wine wants to join you for dinner, so pair it with sweetened BBQ and mole sauces, sweet Italian sausage, or a French cassoulet.
Eberle Paso Robles Steinbeck Vineyard 2001 ($20)
Creamy chocolate and raspberry aromas mingled with scents of raw beef and cola precede a decidedly French dance of ripe fruit, fine tannins, and snappy acidity. Can get even better in the bottle, if you can wait.
Eaglepoint Ranch Mendocino County 2000 ($22)
Dark blackberry, anise, Dutch chocolate and cured beef aromas balance perfectly as flavors in your mouth, enhanced by a raw silk texture and general juiciness. Drink now, with almost anything.
Joseph Phelps Napa Valley 2001 ($40)
The restrained, polished aromas barely prepare you for the flood of fruit, powdery tannins, mouthwatering acidity, and toe-tapping texture in your mouth. Plenty of wow for now, and enough stuffing to age for years.
Morgan Monterey County 2001 ($22)
A toasty, peppery style of Syrah that mingles sweet berry flavors with darker gamey flavors. You can almost taste the ocean breezes in the cool acidity, and there’s sunny sweetness in the finish. Drink now or hold a year.

Terre Rouge Shenandoah Valley Sentinel Vineyard Pyramid Block 2000 ($36)
Packed with plum, berry, licorice, and menthol aromas, and explosive in the mouth with concentrated fruit, tooth-coating tannins and zingy acids. With a proven track record for aging superbly, this is a Syrah for the cellar.


SEPT/OCT 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS

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BITS & BITES
>> New Restaurants
>> Featured Cocktail Recipe
>> Editor's Pick: Favorite Deli's

FOOD & WINE
>> Wine & Food Pairing
>> Featured Varietal: Syrah
>> Winemaker: Craig Williams
>> Syrah Wine Picks



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