Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery 2004 Syrah, Madden Ranch (Livermore Valley)

Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery

2004 Syrah, Madden Ranch
(Livermore Valley)

It just so happened that Sunday Night Football star and former Raider’s coach John Madden and Olympic superstar figure skater Peggy Fleming were doing an ABC sportscasting gig in New York City. Over lunch, they discovered something else they had in common: wine. John had grapes, Peggy wanted some. And so, Peggy and her husband Greg got the other half of the fruit that Rhonda Wood (at Wood Family Vineyards) had coming.

The Madden Ranch has 20 acres of Concannon clone Syrah, which is one of the oldest in California. The vineyard is in the warm eastern edge of the Valley, with three different vineyard blocks, each with a different slope and orientation. The grapes were harvested on September 15, 2004, and taken to the winery where they were cold-soaked before inoculation. The barrel regime for this wine was 100% French oak, 50% new, for 16 months prior to bottling.

The result is something quite different from its sister wine, the 2004 Wood Family Madden Syrah. Aromas of pine and cedar mingle with ripe, dusty berries. The fine French oak influence is masterful, giving the wine a finer texture and leaner profile than the Wood Family version, which is aged in American oak. The Fleming-Jenkins Syrah has smooth anise and lush blackberry flavors, with nice pepper accents. As it opens up, the elegant mouthfeel and texture remind one of a fine paté wrapped in cognac-infused bacon. It’s the sophisticated, somewhat restrained music teacher, to the exuberant, cheerleading Wood Family PE instructor. Both are vitally important elements in anyone’s educational regimen. Buy both of these wines and further your appreciation of the winemaker’s influence, and of the quintessentially important role of wood.

(Alc: 14.6%, Retail: $40)

Reviewed October 20, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery


The Wine

Winery: Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery
Vineyard: Madden Ranch
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Syrah
Appellation: Livermore Valley
Grape: Syrah / Shiraz
Price: 750ml $40.00

Review Date: 10/20/2006

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

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.