Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

So-so Syrah

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IGP Pays d’Hérault 2011, Syrah, Domaine de Petit Roubié ($15.70, 11703502)
100% organically farmed Syrah. Destemmed. Temperature-controlled fermentation with selected yeasts. Macerated 30 days. Screwcapped. 12.5% ABV.
The red fruit, turned earth, bacon and animale you expect from warm-climate Syrah are there, along with a little barnyard and, surprisingly for a 12.5% wine, alcohol. Medium-bodied. The ripe fruit is joined by spice on the attack and darker, slatey flavours on the mid-palate. Said fruit and its sweetness soon fade leaving an astringency and bitterness that border on the unpleasant. Food – in my case a lamb leg steak – brought out the wine’s best side. And it was a little less uncharming the next day. Yet the half bottle’s worth of wine that was combined with chopped shallots, boiled down to a few spoonfuls and mounted with butter to make a sauce for crisp-skinned salmon gave the sauce such an astringently desiccating bite that I had to add sugar – a first. The bottom line: appealing on paper (varietally correct, organic, civilized alcohol level, under $16) but with a very low pleasure quotient. Dommage. (Buy again? Probably not.)

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Written by carswell

May 12, 2013 at 13:11

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