I’m becoming convinced that some of the best wine from California is from Alexander Valley. Not to over emphasize the region over the producer….
There’s a story behind how we got this wine, but you’ll have to ask to hear it (comment!)… but we didn’t pay for it (OK, fine, Rika’s boss gave it to her). Basically, all we knew was what was on the bottle, and that it cost around 20 bucks.
The wine has a pretty nice bouquet – certainly not timid. Rika said she smelled a sugary candy. I think it smells of vanilla – a result of the toasted oak. In fact, it is mostly oak, a fairly strong floral component, and noticeable alcohol. When I first smelled it I thought it might be a little hot, but it isn’t. It is 14.5% alcohol, which is slightly high, but it has enough umph else-wize to hide it. (more…)
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.