Que Syrah/Shiraz/Petite Sirah Sampler

I’ll resist the temptation to comment on our endless winter, because talking about it won’t make it go away. Thankfully we’ve had a few days of sunshine recently, the ground hog predicts an early Spring, and pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Spring Training very soon.
So, while we’re holed up in the house for a little longer, cooking up some stick-to-your-ribs hearty meals, it’s nice to have a case of soulful reds nearby. In this creative Sampler we will be contrasting the Syrah (or Shiraz) grape from various winegrowing regions in the world where Syrah thrives. Kick back and relax (it’s almost over!), and have fun checking out the variety of Syrah’s from around the globe. I’d recommend a vat of chili or some short ribs to accompany these wines.

Paringa2008 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz (South Australia)
If you like both Shiraz and sparkling wine, there’s a good chance you’d enjoy the Paringa Sparkling Shiraz. Lots of boysenberry and mocha in the nose with a hint of spice cake and dark fruit compote. Jammy flavors without being sweet. Works well as an aperitif or with some chocolate and berries…and you know, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99

Qupe2008 Qupe Wine Cellars Central Coast Syrah (Santa Barbara)
A perennial favorite at Bauer’s, and one of our illustrious alumni, Michael Meluskey, has been their CFO since he departed our ranks. Bob Lindquist is one of the original ” Rhone Rangers” and he really knows how to maximize the flavors of all his Syrah’s. The Central Coast version has a little smoky bacon in the nose, but it is packed with layers of supple blueberry fruit. Would work well with some finger-lickin’ ribs and homemade baked beans.

Reg: $19.99  Sale: $15.99

caves de tain2007 Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage (Rhone Valley)

It couldn’t be a Syrah Sampler without including a classic Northern Rhone Syrah. The appellations of Hermitage and Cote Rotie fetch some high prices for their Syrah’s, but you can find good values for Crozes. 2007 was a stellar vintage in the Rhone, and the Cave de Tain exhibits telltale “garrigue” aromas, with intense black currant fruit and oriental spices. With a pork tenderloin.

Reg: $19.99  Sale: $17.99

Mcmannis2008 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah (California)

Here’s a nice, chewy Petite Sirah that won’t bowl you over with too much fruit or intensity. Nicely-balanced and quaffable, the McMannis has ample black raspberry fruit, some sturdy backbone, and a dash of black peppercorn. Its ideal mates would be wnter comfort food like meatloaf or burgers.

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99

falernia2007 Vina Falernia Syrah Reserva (Elqui Valley, Chile)

Syrah has been coming on strong in South America, and like all the other varietals from Chile and Argentina, it offers amazing bang for the buck! This high-altitude version is loaded with dark plum fruit, a variety of the good peppers, making it very Rhone-like in profile. A little smoke in the nose, supple texture, and lengthy finish make the Falernia an ideal mate for lamb shanks or cassoulet.

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99

CMS 2008 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red (Columbia Valley, Washington)

Here’s an example of how well Syrah blends in with other grapes. In Australia and the Southern Rhone, it blends with Mourvedre and Grenache. In South America it harmonizes with Carmenere and Bonnarda. In the Columbia Valley, this Red Mountain  producer does a balancing act with the spicy, tobacco notes of Syrah with the structure of Cabernet and the plummy smoothness of Merlot. Pair it up with some Bolognese or some grilled pannini’s.

Reg: $15.99  Sale: $12.99

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