Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Michaud Vineyard and Winery 2003 Syrah, Estate (Chalone)

Michaud Vineyard and Winery

2003 Syrah, Estate

If ever there was an American proponent of varietal typicity and true terroir, it’s Michael Michaud. If anyone is entitled to the moniker “Mr. Chalone,” it’s Michael Michaud. That’s because as the winemaker at Chalone Vineyard for 15 years and for the last 10 at his own Michaud Vineyard , he’s one of the few who know the terrain as intimately as he does. Aside from Chalone Vineyard, there aren’t many making wine from this cool, isolated AVA a dozen miles from Soledad in the eastern hills of Monterey County and adjacent to the Pinnacles National Monument.

This Syrah exemplifies the terroir aspects of the AVA. Two and one-half acres of Syrah are planted on the Michaud site. A rare combination of decomposed granite from the North American plate and limestone created from eons of marine deposits is found in the soil. Less than 12 inches of annual rainfall at an elevation of 1,500 feet, the region, known more for its Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, apparently translates to Syrah, too.

And it’s manifested in this wine with tar, mineral and slate characteristics offset by raspberry aromas and flavors. The fruit is extremely bright and the wine is excellently balanced with good tannins for the long-term, say until 2017. The wine spent 20 months in French barrels, only 20 percent of which were new, while the remainder was 1 to 3 years old. The stated alcohol is 14.1 percent and there were but 426 cases produced.

Reviewed August 19, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Michaud Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Syrah
Appellation: Chalone
Grape: Syrah / Shiraz
Price: 750ml $39.00

Review Date: 8/19/2007

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.