Pacific Star Winery2001 Syrah
California Syrah is all over the map. In this case, it’s a good thing, because the part of the map this wine hails from is darned near perfect for growing big, yet elegant Syrah. Winemaker Sally Ottoson sourced fruit from two distinctively different vineyards in Mendocino, one in Hopland and one in Potter Valley, a small AVA adjacent to the Redwood Valley viticultural area of Mendocino County. Syrah is said to have been planted in the Rhone valley during Roman times, and has long been grown successfully in this very warm inland climate of California. Instead of espousing the popular “shiraz” style of Syrah, Sally set out to make a Rhone style wine, with the power associated with a classic French expression of this most ancient of varietals. She succeeds admirably.
From the first pour in the glass, its dark, concentrated carnelian color hints of a wine with massive shoulders and field-hand stamina. The aromas are immediately rewarding, with substantial earth, white pepper, peppered ham and pepperoni pizza. You could smell this wine for a long time without even having to taste it. A most delightful and lively acidity zips through the delicious bright, peppery Parma ham sandwich on light rye flavors: the hints of green peppercorns and sage add complexity. The texture is simply terrific and the finish is a distinctive one of pepper and dark French roast coffee. As it opens up, the wine turns silken and seamless, making it truly one of the more delightful, yet powerful Syrah’s I’ve had from this vintage. It pairs perfectly with grilled garlic, rosemary and coriander-encrusted lamb, accompanied by a warm spinach, feta cheese and grape tomato salad, dressed with plenty of peppery olive oil and plum balsamic vinegar.
(Alc: 14.1%, Retail: $24)
Reviewed July 11, 2006 by Laura Ness.
Other reviewed wines from Pacific Star Winery
Pacific Star Winery
(Mendocino County)Laura Ness 7/20/2006
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.