Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2003 Chateau Lorane Syrah


I couldn’t let the entire month of November go by without publishing post.

I came home this evening after a 75% day of work already thinking that I needed to open a bottle of wine. It would not be until about 9:30 this evening when I would peruse my wine collection to decide what I should open. I made the conscious decision that whatever I opened, it had to be an Oregon wine so that I could make an entry. I decided upon a 2003 Syrah from Chateau Lorane. I am not always a big fan of Syrah – it usually just depends. This 2003 bottle was one I purchased Labor Day weekend of 2007 when my friend Christopher was visiting. I must say that I am a fan of Chateau Lorane. The scenery of the winery/tasting room is incredibly beautiful, picturesque, and almost serene.

While I opened this bottle at about 9:30 in the evening, it would be 11:30 before I would pour the first glass. I think that giving this wine 2 hours, unintentionally, to breathe did great things to enhance the nose and the palate of this Syrah. When I poured the glass, I was immediately taken by the dark color. Because I don’t drink a lot of Syrahs, I wasn’t sure if they are normally this dark, but this Syrah has a very dark rich color. Holding it up to the light, it was very difficult to see through the glass.

Another thing I noticed while pouring is that the nose of this Syrah was immediately present - it was a very full oak nose. Something also noticeable in the nose was the cherries. The cherries and other fruit (blackberries) were very lightly present when sniffing this wine.

Like the majority of wines, the first sip was nothing too spectacular, there was some warmth to my throat, but that quickly subsided. What I am now noticing with this Syrah is that you taste a bit of the sweet from the fruits right away, and that subsides almost just as quickly as it came. It tastes like there are spices present, but I am unable to find the information on the 2003, which is unfortunate. The 2004 makes no note of any spices either. If I had to guess, I would probably say there are some spices and some cinnamon present here.

I do like that this Syrah has a light sweet taste, but then mellows out to an enjoyable beverage. I wouldn’t say that there is anything too special to this Syrah, but it a good way to end the day.

Until next time...


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Cabernet Franc is...

...the opposite of the Holocaust, in a bottle.  This being the somewhat satirical description my friend Rick gave for the wine of the day -- 2005 Griffin Creek Cabernet Franc -- and of course representing his great disdain for the Holocaust.  Seriously, though, this is a great wine.  We touched on it briefly about a year ago with The Oregon Wine Blog's Holiday Dinner Pairing Guide as a complement to a smoked salmon dip appetizer, and I had the opportunity to crack a bottle open this weekend and enjoy.  We found out a few months ago that Griffin Creek / Willamette Valley Vineyards were selling out of their last bottles of this gem with no more on the horizon, so many of us picked up a few bottles and have been hanging on to them for a special occasion.

I was headed to Eastern Washington this weekend to see family and friends, and as I perused the wine rack deciding what to take I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had one more bottle of  the Cab Franc than I thought I had.  In the car it went.  The fact that both Rick and I love this wine combined with a great trip was special occasion enough.

As described, this wine is earthy and aromatic, the nose has aromas of rich dark fruits, lavender, anise, and mushroom.  It's a medium to full bodied wine with mouth-coating flavors of black cherry with hints of cocoa, molasses, and earth spice.  I'd imagine it would be amazing with a steak, although haven't done that yet.  We drank it this weekend a la carte and enjoyed every drop.

A wine that good with only 229 cases bottled, no wonder it's gone.  If you happen upon some in a wine shop somewhere, pick it up.  Should be somewhere in the $35 range.  Or even better, call me and I'll buy some!

PS - The staff, friends, and family of The Oregon Wine Blog in no way assume a great bottle is wine is anywhere near the magnitude, good or bad, of a tragedy such as the Holocaust.  We are strong supporters of civil rights and encourage equality for all.