SIMPLY WINES 2nd outing – Cali Cult – Syrah tasting! (20101008)

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Most people often associate Syrah to Rhone Rangers or Paso Robles, California. Sine Qua Non, a winery which produces one of the best cult Syrah in Paso Robles, California, has often been awarded 100pts perfect rating by Mr.Robert Parker. Unfortunately, its price tag is no longer consumer-friendly.

Sonama in California is well-known for its high quality Pinot Noir based wine. Syrah, the other grape varietal in the region, though is less famous, is starting to draw attention from the world.
Here comes the chance to try highly rated, low production Sonoma Syrah without burning a hole in your pocket–Artisan Cellar had just released a set of wines from Bedrock Wine Co, Sonoma.

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Above is the reason to start this event! Plan to have 3 Syrah in Artisan. And, surprised surprised surprised! We ended up with 8wines -> A cult Sparky from Aussie, 3 Top Class dry Riesling + 1 Aus GK and Bedrock Syrah Trio! The Rieslings shined for the day!

The line up (missing Sparky and Aus GK)

Aussie Cult Sparky

2007 EldRidge SparkyA decent sparkling that is very limited production, 30cases! According to fren, Eldridge is famous for their Pinot.

Top Class Rieslingsssssss

Trimbach Clos Ste Hune

Trimbach Clos Ste Hune – The world acclaim top dry Riesling in Alsace and this shouldn’t be unknown amongst wine lover, especially Riesling fanatic.

Keller, Abtserde

Keller, on the other hand, is one of the best GG (Dry Riesling) maker from Germany, Rheinhessen. While G-Max is undoubtedly flagship GG of Keller, Abtserde is the 2nd layer from the tip of Keller GG pyramid range alongside with Morstein, is low production, top quality GG in Germany.

Schloss Lieser BJS GG

Schloss Lieser, a rising star from Mosel with their clean, rich, super-balance, elegant profile. When everyone expected this will out-shine by the first two top Riesling, this stay on its own, and shoulder to shoulder with the Keller and Trimbach.

  • 2008 Weingut Keller Westhofen Brunnenhäuschen Abtserde (“Abtse®.de”) Riesling Großes Gewächs, Germany, Rheinhessen
    Alcohol : 13.5%
    Have tried Kirchspiel, Hubacker GG from both 07 & 08 vintage and always want to try out the higher range of GG which is the Abtserde, and thanks to Ed, I got to try it! 2007 is obviously a better vintage for GG for it’s ripeness to counterbalance the dry extract that resulted in a more complete wine. However, the 2008 Abtserde just show it is a notch better than the previous 2 GGs and a very good GG in 2008.One can sense the ripe fruits core with pineapple and banana infused with smoke, huge salted mineral background that’s offer broad, complex aromas. The palate, as per Keller style, is very powerful, even more concentrated and richer than the Kirchspiel, Hubacker GG. It hit your palate with ripe yellow fruits in the beginning, then quickly melted into liquid mineral, spices flavor all come together with very powerful profile that explode and stain the palate with good grip along with long finish that persist and linger with pineapple, banana and slate aftertaste and trace of alcohol. This need plenty of time to come together, another 5yrs at the very least. Buy – Maybe
  • 2004 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune – France, Alsace, Hunawihr, Alsace AOC
    Alcohol : 13%
    Decanted for 3hrs in decanter. At last, the long awaited, legendary Alsace Riesling – CSH, at last…. However, the med-dark yellow color that make us quite worry for the condition of this bottle. Nice complex nose with lots of ripe citrus fruits, mineral along with the lovely petroleum and hint of white floral, really nice. The palate is rather weak compare to the excellent nose, it is rich, powerful, with good acidity, liquid mineral and sappy ripe fruits, creamy mouth feel, but it is a tad simple, and perhaps slightly off-balance with its long alcoholic finish. This has all the power that CSH has, however, just not as clean and precise that I hope it would deliver. A $200 bucks CSH, just like this? We all suspect that this is an off bottle. Huge let down…… Buy – No.
  • 2009 Schloss Lieser Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Großes Gewächs Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Alcohol : 13%
    Closed and tight at first but it has became much more expressive after being decanted in decanter for an hour? High tone aromatic nose of grapefruits, floral, lots and lots of chalky mineral that is focus and precise. The wine continue to express itself with its precise and clean profile on the palate that is lively, fresh, with great intensity but remain light on its feet and long persistent finish the flavor of grapefuits, salted mineral that’s keep lingering. This is still very very young, but this has shows immense balance, elegant texture, med level of depth and complexity which I believe it will improve with bottle age and eventually become a great wine. I especially like the cleaniness and vibrancy. Buy – Yes.

Bedrock Trio

Kick Ranch – 94% Syrah, 6% Viogner. Fruits from Sonoma
Co-Fermented – 92% Syrah, 8% Viogner. Fruits from Carneros
Whole-Cluster – 100% Syrah. Fruits from Carneros.

This 3wines show how talented is the winemaker, Morgan Twain-Peterson. There is distinctly different profile on all the wines. All well-crafted, with personalities and style that is not a generic Californian which is sweet, forward drinking, big yet not structure.

  • 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Kick Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Alcohol : 15%
    Bottle decanted for 3hours. Powerful nose thats offer spicy, sweet dark fruits, and alcohol. The palate is not as sweet as I expect, in fact, it is a little bit on the dry side with its austere profile, the balance of the fruits and oak is good, never feel heavy. There is bittersweet cocoa flavor too. Structure, med tannin, quite light finish with alcohol present. This is powerful and concentrated, just a tad simple. Buy – No.
  • 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Cofermented Hudson Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros
    Alcohol : 14.8%
    Bottle decanted for 3hours. This show the skill of the winemaker, and clearly 2steps up from the kick ranch. The roasted herb and meaty aromas is lovely and reminded me of a cote rotie, added more depth with the bouquet of bacon fat, sweet dark fruits. This is the most elegant wine in the range, it does show certain level of finesse, and the purity of the fruits is great and the old-world like cote rotie profile that attracted me the most. This is not a blockbuster, but offer med level of complexity and considerably richness and concentration that remain fresh and good shape with its underlying acidity. Finish is decent too. This should be quite ready after 3-5yrs aging. I slightly prefer this over the Whole-Cluster for its elegant profile. Buy – Maybe.
  • 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Whole Cluster Hudson Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros
    Alcohol : 14.5%
    Bottle decanted for 3hours. Didn’t take detail note of this. What I remember was, higher tone aromas of roasted meat, dense dark fruits with licoric. The most structure with fine-grained tannins, and has highest concentration that stained the palate. A blockbuster that offer good depth and richness and power that is completely different in style compare to the ‘co-fermented’, more like a hermitage. This has very good acidity that go along with the concentration too. Give it another 5yrs, definitely will improve. Buy – Maybe.

The sweet that end the day

See the frizz??

2009 – Another legendary year in Germany, thus decided to pop this to try. And, wow! The sheet balance in 2009 is just awesome, it has the sweetness of 2007, and the acidity backbone of 2008 to counterbalance with the sweetness. Delicious, can’t wait to lay my hand on more 2009 Rieslingsssssssss.

  • 2009 Schloss Lieser Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Alcohol : 7%
    Pop and Poured. After having 3 dried Riesling and Syrah, I suggested to end with a sweet, to cleanse our palate. Not too many choices, so we decided to pop this and evaluate how is 2009 vintage. Expected this is still soooo young and far from ready. This is fresh from the winery, thus, note of sulphite is inevitable and quite fizzy. Straw yellow color. Sulphite present with underlying yellow flower, rose, mineral with ripe fruits, kind of reduction, still. The balance in 2009 is just awesome, it never lack of the ripe acidity to balance off the sweetness and keep the wine fresh and precise. The sweet, sappy palate well-balance by underlying ripe pineapple acidity, ripe apricot and honey with slate that linger to the elegant long finishing. Kept some in the bottle and will access again few days later. Buy – Maybe
  • New update. Tasted again at home 2days later. Still quite reluctant and shy but clearly more expressive than first attempt. Quite a charming aromas that display aromas of melon, white n yellow flower, chalky mineral. wow! It is the palate that shine! Absolutely brilliant. This has gain much more depth, velvety mouth feel, more interesting and complete with the intensely high sweetness of citrus fruit all wrapped nicely by tons of ripe, mouth watering acidity that coat the mouth and finish that refuse to let go with huge mineral backbone, linger with citrus fruits, melon and mango! Very delicious. This has class and show the great balance of a 2009. Buy – Definitely.

This was a really excellent 2nd outing of SIMPLY WINES and I enjoyed the event and atmosphere. Looking forward to the 3rd outing!

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