After a barn-burning vote, and by barn-burning I mean me bugging people to give me their opinion, we have a selection for our June tasting. Facebook was involved, as was email, and eventually a Virginia quarter spun on a table. In the end, tasting the difference between high alcohol fruit bombs vs low alcohol subtle wines won the vote. We may give second place Spain vs. Portugal its chance next month.
Our friends at K&L Wines helped select a combination of Syrah with alcohol levels from 12.5% to 15.5%. The wines even range in terms of geography: California Lodi, California Santa Barbara, France, and New Zealand.
We’re actually headed up to Tahoe for a weekend of nothing special with some friends, which means we’ll have a set of 8 opinions on what tastes better and if the difference in alcohol is noticeable. My bet is that we’ll be able to tell the difference in alcohol content, but I’m not sure which type people will prefer. Personally, I like bolder wines but I’ve had some high alcohol Zinfandels in the past that were simply too much.
2009 Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph @ 12.5% ($24.99) The option from France comes in at the bottom of the range. K&L notes this wine’s floral, jammy, and spice notes.
2009 Mission Estate Winery Syrah Hawkes Bay New Zealand 13.5% ($12.99) According to K&L, this New Zealand Syrah has a Northern Rhone profile and drops flavors of apple pie, plum, and nutmeg.
2009 Melville “Estate-Verna’s” Sta. Rita Hills Syrah 14.7% ($19.99) K&L says this wine will knock you out of your seat; no wimps allowed. Now we’re talking. Lots of flavors mentioned including ones I’ve never heard used before – kinda cool, kinda snobby: miso teriyaki glaze and dried nori?
2009 Michael & David Vineyards “6th Sense” Lodi Syrah @ 15.5% ($12.99) The end of the spectrum and the presumptive fruit bomb mother-lode. No restraint here, just goes for the jugular. K&L calls it insanely rich, full of blackberry jam and bacon fat.
We’ll let you know how it goes!