When the box first arrived in my mail room at the office, I was slightly scared that someone was playing a bad joke on me. Or just didn’t like me very much. Or I had really made it big in the wine blogging world.
Why you ask? Well, the box that I received was stamped, in large size letters, “Trinchero Family Estates”. Now, for me, when I hear Trinchero, I either think of my friends parents and their dinner parties with Vera, or I think with shock and horror of the Sutter Home domination of the white zinfandel market. To say I’m not a fan of the pink stuff is being too kind. I hate it! I abhor it! It’s worse than Sunny Delight, a product that though is made of juice, tastes nothing like it. So goes my thoughts of the wines of the Home.
That said, the history of Sutter Home and therefore White Zinfandel, is a good one. At a time when most vineyards were ripping out Zinfandel, which has now become American’s Hertiage Grape, Sutter Home and a handful of other wineries, kept hte vineyards by making sweet pink wine for the masses. For that I give them kudos, as I really like a good RED (yes there really is only one) Zinfandel.
Now, back to the story. When I got the dreaded box back to my desk, I knew I couldn’t wait until I got home, and ripped it open right away. WOW! Was I happily surprised! Inside, came a 4-pack of samples from the new Napa Valley winery, Napa Cellars. Now, when I was asked if I wanted to try these wines, having never heard of them, I said of course. I’d love to try a new winery. This goes to show you, even this jaded fool can be swayed by good marketing efforts.
So the first wine I opened from this lot was the 2006 Napa Cellars Napa Valley Syrah. This is a winery exclusive, but you can find the tasting room int he same building as Foie a Deux, in Oakville. The fruit was sourced from Carneros, which is a cooler climate for syrah and the first thing I noticed when I sipped the dark deep brooding wine was that it was classically cool climate. This was not a hot Dry Creek fruit forward syrah. A cool climate syrah takes longer to ripe, which gives it a longer hangtime, which producers a more intense wine.
I found this a very rich and dark syrah, and was a bit difficult to drink at first. I definitely suggest decanting this beast. At first it had bittersweet chocolate notes, with currents and dried plums. I also tasted smoked meats, which is why this is being posted on my Bacon Friday post! There was a tasty bit of anise, and soy sauce – which normally your wouldn’t like in a wine, but here it fit in well. There was a nice finish of black pepper and blackberries.
After enjoying a glass on the first night, I decided that I would let it air out over night. Normally, i would decant such a wine, but sometimes being a single girl has it’s downfalls. It’s easier for me to leave a bottle open sans VacUVin than it is to decant, since I can store it more readily for further consumption. On night 2, even having enjoyed the meaty wine on night 1, I enjoyed it more. I tasted more espresso and molasses, along with minerally black pepper and cedar. I also tasted a lovely black cheery note, with hints of leather and campfire smoke.
I really enjoyed this wine, and it’s a great big giant meaty syrah. I would pair this with steak if I ate steak, but I enjoyed it with a BAPT (Bacon Alvacado Provolone Turkey) sandwich. This wine retails for $34, and is available at the winery. Why not go by and check it out?