Manzoni Estate Vineyard2005 Syrah, Paraiso Vineyard
(Santa Lucia Highlands)
The Manzonis have been farmers in the Salinas Valley since the 1920s; in the late 1990s, they began adding a few acres of Pinot Noir grapes to the mix. The estate vineyard is in the cooler northern part of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, a prime spot for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes for this Syrah, however, come from Paraiso Vineyard, a somewhat warmer site near the southern end of the appellation. It still displays the flavors of a cool-climate Syrah, though, with ripe berry fruit accented by some smoky notes and a good dose of white pepper. It’s a plump, supple, easy-to-like Syrah.
Winemaker Steve Pessagno aged the wine in a combination of new and year-old French oak barrels for 11 months, and the oak is very well integrated. You could hold this Syrah, which sells for $35, for a couple of years, but it’s delicious and smooth now. The winery suggests pairing it with stews, grilled meats or strong cheeses. I think it would hold up well against some smoky ribs or pulled pork, too.
Reviewed July 18, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Other Awards & Accolades
90 Pts, Gold Medal - BTI 2007 World Wine Championships
Gold Medal - 2007 Monterey County Fair
Silver Medal - 2007 Central Coast Wine Competition
Bronze Medal - 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition
Bronze Medal - 2007 Orange County Fair
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.