By John ~ November 26th, 2010.
A few weeks ago, the Wine Peeps team hosted a Digging into the Cellar Party for about fifteen of our closest wine loving friends. The theme was Rhone-style wines, and we bookended a blind tasting of eighteen 2005 Washington Syrahs with a 2005 Chateau de Beaucastel ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape from France and a 2001 Penfolds Grange from Australia. The 2005 vintage was a great vintage in Washington wine country, and we wanted to see how these Syrahs were doing at five years old and see which ones we thought still had a lot of life left.
What we found was that almost all the Syrahs were still drinking very well, and we estimated that many of them could easily go another 5 to 7 years. Although this was not a serious, take copious tasting notes, event, each attendee was asked to turn in the bottle numbers of their three favorites so that we could get a composite favorites list.
After unveiling the sacked bottles, the consensus favorite of the group turned out to be the 2005 Stevens Black Tongue Syrah. My personal favorite was the 2005 Fielding Hills Syrah, and Koriâ€™s favorite was the 2005 O*S Dineen Vineyard Syrah. Other group favorites were the 2005 Watermill Reserve Syrah (an Oregon winery located in the Walla Walla Valley AVA), the 2005 Hollywood Hill Vineyards Syrah, and the 2005 Basel Cellars Syrah.
Undoubtedly, the overall favorite wine of the night was the 2001 Penfolds Grange, and well it should be with its price tag. It was a spectacular wine in every way and should be drinking well for at least another twenty years. It was one of those wines that leaves memory notes on your brain that pop back up every time you mention the wineâ€¦blackberries, blueberries, licorice, dark chocolate, spice, and a long, lingering finish. Maybe itâ€™s not so expensive after all if you can call up the wine in your mind and smell the aroma and taste the taste all over again without spending another dollar.
All in all it was a great party with great friends and spectacular wine. Cheers!
Filed under: American Wine, Australian Wine, French Wine, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events