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Garretson Bassetti Vineyard Mon Amie Syrah 2004

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • RP94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"A blend of 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier, the 2004 Syrah Mon Amie Bassetti Vineyard, from San Luis Obispo rather than Paso Robles, is a superb effort. Its inky, deep ruby/blue/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of graphite, creme de cassis, smoke, and road tar. The wine boasts great intensity, full body, beautiful purity, and a long finish. It should evolve for a decade or more."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Garretson, , California
The fact that Paso Robles has emerged as California’s leading “Rhône Zone” can be attributed in no small measure to the efforts of Mat Garretson. This former Atlantan was already a fan of Syrah, but it was his introduction to Viognier that opened his eyes to the entire spectrum of this exotic family of grape varieties. "In 1982, a fellow retailer gave me a bottle of wine labeled ‘Condrieu’ as a birthday present," recalls Garretson. "I wasn’t too impressed...until I opened the bottle." That bottle sparked an obsession so complete that Garretson is often referred to as ‘Mr. Viognier’ by his fellow winemakers.

Garretson Wine Company’s focus is solely on crafting the best Rhône wines possible. In honor of the couple’s shared heritage, each wine features some manner of Gaelic-inspired reference. "You may not be able to pronounce the names," admits Garretson, "but remember, you don’t pronounce wines. You drink them."

While over the years Garretson has been no doubt instrumental in bringing fellow wine drinkers into the Rhône wine fold, he still feels a strong sense of obligation to keep spreading the word. "If I hadn’t been given that bottle of Condrieu so long ago, all of this may never have happened," he insists. "That one bottle led me to California, led me to a wonderful woman and an incredible family...not to mention all of the friends I’ve gained along the way. Just think: perhaps a bottle of one of our wines might just have the same affect on someone somewhere. That would be the finest honor we could hope for."

Oak Knoll District

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

HNYGWCSHM04C_2004 Item# 95544

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