Wattle Creek Winery2003 The Triple Play
Using predominantly Syrah, 2003 Triple Play is both a new wine and innovative blend from Wattle Creek Winery's Yorkville Highlands AVA estate.
If you're unfamiliar with the AVA, vineyards there border both sides of California Route 128 that connects Sonoma County's Alexander Valley with Mendocino County's Anderson Valley. Yorkville Highlands hillside vineyards are cooler than Alexander Valley and Syrah from there has more northern Rhône Valley of France characteristics than Alexander Valley floor, which can be roughly compared to the climate of Australia's Barossa Valley.
If anyone should know this difference, it's Wattle Creek's winemaker Michael Scholz, a native Australian. To craft 2003 Triple Play, Scholz chose to co-ferment Syrah with two percent Viognier, a typical northern Rhône winemaking practice, and to blend with three percent Petite Sirah.
To garner structure and richness, yet capture a smooth finish, Scholz extended maceration time on the skins after fermentation completed. Once pressed, the wine was transferred directly to cooperage for 19 months in French oak exclusively, 43 percent of which was new.
Inky, dense and marked by vivid red and purple hues of a young wine, 2003 Triple Play's striking characteristics are blackberry with a touch of anise spice and smoky notes, typical of a northern Rhône-style red.
Pair 2003 Triple Play with grilled lamb or savory, braised lamb shanks and a side of soft polenta, creamy mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin.
Reviewed October 20, 2006 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.
Eleanor & Ray Heald
The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.