December 22Navarro Correas Syrah 2004
Although we aren’t going to drink this particular wine at the Christmas Party, we will be drinking the Navarro Correas Malbec… not sure about the vintage. Sasa wanted us to try this to get an idea of the quality of the Navarro Correas wines. I think that his effort was in vein really, as this wine wasn’t all that great, but when researching the wines I found that several people rated this wine around where we did, perhaps a little higher, but the Malbec was rated considerably higher. This might explain why Sasa was excited about getting the Malbec, and was so disappointed that he hadn’t received them at the time of this tasting. I look forward to tasting the Malbec at the party though.
Color was quite good, medium-dark garnet (slight purple tint). The nose smelled of smoked oak, licorice, and had a fairly strong vegetal aspect.
Tasted of smoked oak, rose petals, bright red fruit, and was pretty spicy. Mouth-feel was nice with a pretty good tannin structure. The finish was a lingering spice, rose pedals, and asparagus.
This wine is from Mendoza, Argentina… which is the region best known for its Malbec wines. This is a pretty good effort for an affordable wine from a region that isn’t known for its Syrah. It is a pretty interesting wine in general, and was really nice paired with steak… made the steak taste “pretty”! From what I can find, looks like the wine is retailing for around $10-12 and at that price it is not a bad QPR. I didn’t love the wine, but it is interesting enough to spend that kind of money to try it, just for the experience. It might score higher with you than me, depending on your preference… especially if you like wines from the Pauillac part of Bordeaux.
December 22Paige 23 Syrah 2004
I’m starting to hear more and more about this winery. First our friend Eiko had the Pinot Noir in a restaurant, and now this. I did some research on Paige 23 and found out that “The Ritz” has their entire line on their wine list… and they typically only have 3-5 wines in each category (although there are probably a dozen categories). According to Sasa of Metro Cafe, who carries at least some of the Paige 23 line, this isn’t the best of their line. I thought this one was quite good actually, but Eiko was in a fit about how much she liked the Pinot Noir. I can’t wait to try that one too. But I digress….
Color was medium red, really nice by candle light. Aroma smelled of a camp fire… I mean it really gave me flashback to so many camping trips I went on… licorice (which I REALLY like in a wine)red currant, vanilla, and even sausage… the kind you find in the gourmet shops that are hanging, dried/cured, and still linked. A very nice nose, indeed.
Taste was of black cherry, black plum, a little smoky flavor, with nice ripe tannins. Great complexity, kept us guessing and discussing for a while. Mouth-feel was nice and soft, with good acidity. The finish wasn’t so long, but not bad at all in flavor… a little black pepper, tannins, and a hint of the black fruits, but almost as if they started “un-ripening”, getting “redder”… if that’s possible. Paired pretty well with most of the dishes we were eating, especially the “Chicken with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce” Past dish… which is one of my favorite dishes there.
I’d give this a big recommend if it were a little cheaper… at 20 bucks it might be possible to do better. But if you’re in a restaurant and this is the only thing you recognize (maybe thanks to this post), get it… I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you have $20 to throw at something new, then again, try it, I’m fairly certain you’ll like it. Consider this a “recommend”… just not big. It is worth the money, just not a bargain. Oh, and I think this will get better with time too. Maybe buy a bottle and keep it for another couple of years before drinking.