Zacherle | Lava Vine Vineyards2005 Syrah, Crowley Vineyard
(Spring Mountain District ~ Napa Valley)
Zacherle is a recently launched wine-growing/winemaking partnership between construction manager Joe Cabral and former Barnett Vineyards winemaker Nile Zacherle (after whom the brand takes its name). The pair specializes in Syrah grown on volcanic soils in Sonoma’s Knights Valley and Napa’s Spring Mountain District.
The Napa Syrah’s dark and inky appearance suggests a robust wine, which this wine is indeed. On the nose you’ll find prominent aromas of fresh cracked black peppercorns with smoky bacon and cigar box notes. On the palate, the wine is as robust and concentrated as the appearance and aroma suggest, filling the palate with flavors of rich and ripe blackberry jam and licorice with just enough fine tannins to cut through the viscosity to lend structure. The wine finishes earthy and minerally with the 14.5% alcohol registering as warmth while the flavors dissipate slowly on the finish. (103 cases made)
Also tasted was the 2005 Knights Valley Syrah ($40, 236 cases), which leans well to the opposite end of the spectrum, hitting a more forward fruity nose that leads with strawberry and raspberry reminiscent of a Grenache-based southern Rhone red. A more readily approachable style than the muscular Napa wine, the Knights Valley is softer and sweeter on the palate with low tannins and again a warm finish (14.8%).
Reviewed June 10, 2008 by Adam Dial.
Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.