Michael David 2008 6th Sense Syrah

This is my ode* to the best wine I’ve ever had during a meeting at work ever.

Region: Lodi, California
Grapes involved: Cost: $15 -ish
Food pairings: My favorite pairing when I had it at home was with a ball of fresh mozzarella which Tony and I were gingerly tearing apart with our fingers. That said, it would be awesome with chocolate, maybe even white chocolate.

The thing with product meetings in the wine world is that they sound all fun and games (you mean I can sit on my ass and drink wine? at 9am? and get paid?? YES PLEASE) until I’m sitting in the midst of one, struck with the realization that an eight-hour meeting about wine is still fundamentally an eight-hour meeting. After a while, the wines all begin to smell and taste the same, to blend together until a Zinfandel tastes like a Malbec tastes like a Pinot Grigio tastes like a Gewurtztraminer. I rarely remember any wines all that clearly from these meetings, relying instead on what tasting notes I’m able to scribble to myself while I sip. Five hours in, it takes something spellbinding to elicit any response more detailed than “yep, that’s wine.”

I have now met spellbinding, and it is this Syrah.

See, I don’t remember how long we’d been in that particular product meeting. I know that we’d been sitting/sipping for a long time, well past the “yep, that’s wine” point. The supplier was passing two wines around the room.  I don’t remember what the first bottle was, except that it was cooked, an unsurprising problem given we were coming off a particularly nasty stretch of Kansas summer (in this case, three weeks of 40˚C + temperatures).* And I remember not much caring that the first wine was cooked, because the next wine was so blindingly fuckamazing that I lost track of everything else in the room.

I ended that meeting with “’08 6th Sense Syrah” writ large in my notes, doodled hearts and flowers surrounding it (because I am apparently a 16-year-old girl), making a mental promise to myself to buy a bottle once it cooled off – this is emphatically a cold weather wine – to discover what it was that made my tastebuds fall all over themselves swooning.

What I discovered is that this particular Syrah is the musical equivalent of the Cure’s Disintegration. It is oodles of black lace and a plum velvet corset, floor-length skirt, combat boots, all black eyeliner and elegant wit. I imagine it to have an endless affection for the novels of the Bronte sisters. It is, flat out, the gothiest wine I have ever had. See?

What I’m trying to say is that this wine, it’s purple (and see? It is!).  It smells like violets and plums and blackberry tea with a tinge of black olive and black pepper, and it tastes like all of that plus little bits of earthen mushrooms and blackcurrant and milk chocolate and spun sugar. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft, lightly acidic, round and full and luxurious.

DRINK IT. If you can’t find the ’08, start looking around for the 2010. The early press has been awesome. I’ll be snagging a comparison bottle soon.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
*Right, so I get that this isn’t a proper ode. I know what an ode is (my collegiate learnings were most of the English Lit variety), and I don’t care that reappropriating the term. I suck at poetry, so this is better than any legit ode I could ever write.

Advertisements

2009 Dona Paula Estate Malbec-Syrah

I love Malbec. I love Syrah. What could possibly go wrong?

Answer: nothing. This stuff is amazing. Actually, pretty much every bottle I’ve had with a Dona Paula Estate label on it has been filled with some really lovely wine. Here’s what you’re looking for:

Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Grapes involved: Malbec and Syrah
Cost: $16.00 or so
Food pairings: We killed the bottle while having steak in a wine reduction alongside fingerling potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts (it was a good night)(like, you probably wanted to be there)(but it was a date night, so we wouldn’t have let you in the door anyway). The combination worked pretty fabulously well.

This wine is gorgeous. It’s a dusky, plummy, deep violet purple hue:

If you can picture that color as a flavor, then you know what this wine tastes like. It’s pretty much exactly that.

For the non-synthaesthetes out there, here’s some tasting notes: 

The nose is a rich combination of juicy plum, a soft, almost musky white floral, violet, spun sugar, and a touch of white pepper and blackberry. There’s a really vibrant core that hits at first, followed by all the softer sugary floral notes.

The flavor is a whole bunch of plum, followed by violet, lots of blackberry, oak, vanilla, and white pepper. It’s full-bodied with medium tannins and a nice acidity to balance out the wood. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and velvety in the sort of dead sexy fashion of a good Merlot.

I love love love this wine. It’s everything to enjoy about Syrah combined with everything that makes Malbec one of the fastest-growing varietals on the market right now. At $16, it’s terrifically underpriced. Grab some before the winery wakes up and decides it should be a $40 bottle instead.