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Quinta do Monte D'Oiro Lybra Syrah 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from Portugal
  • RP90
13% ABV
  • WE90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ruby-red in color with aromas of ripe berry fruit, chocolate, and spices. On the palate, the wine has flavors of dark fruit, hints of chocolate and cassis, and some mineral notes. Full-bodied, with silky tannis and a long persistent finish.

Pair with Chateaubriand, chorizo empanadas, or lasagna bolognese.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Lybra is a Syrah aged for approximately a year, depending on the plot, in French barriques. It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. As time marches on, this inexpensive bottling has become one of (if not the best) values in the lineup. The quality has risen, but the price is pretty stable. Showing good concentration for the level, it has nice structure as well, plus a lifted and lively feel to the fruit. The theme here is always elegance, not "big, fat fruit bomb." There is also grip on the finish and just a bit of that Syrah earthiness on the nose. I don't think this has quite as much concentration as the 2009, also reviewed, but it has a fresher feel and equally good structure. This bottling of late is making me want to lean up a little more. They have also demonstrated that they hold better than anticipated. This is new release is approachable right now, though.
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Quinta do Monte D'Oiro

Quinta do Monte D'Oiro

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Quinta do Monte D'Oiro, Portugal
Quinta do Monte d’Oiro (“Hill of Gold”) was founded by winemaker José Bento dos Santo in 1990. His goal was to develop top-quality wines in a European style while respecting his vineyard’s unique terroir. The wines, which are deep, mineral and personalized, carry the Quinta’s identity, and their unique robust character is a harmonious match with classical and haute cuisines.

Over the past 20 years, Quinta do Monte d’Oiro has achieved international renown, with wines chosen for the Portuguese president’s cellar at the Palácio de Belém, and available at some of the best European and American restaurants, such as the Alain Ducasse Group and the Four Seasons Hotel. Additionally, Monte d’Oiro’s Homenagem a António Carqueijeriro 1999, a wine produced as an homage to a great friend of Bento dos Santos, won an Iberian blind-tasting contest of the best 30 wines from Portugal and Spain. This same wine was part of Madrid’s ”Mythical Wines of the World“ tasting in 2003 and 2004, along with the legendary wines Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Beaucastel, Grange, Vega Sicilia, and Pingus.

Portugal

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Best known for flavorful fortified wines but also producing excellent dry wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to the west on the Iberian Peninsula, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, perhaps due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. Portugal is a long and narrow country, which makes for considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast. With the exception of Port, most Portuguese wines have struggled to garner attention in the international marketplace, perhaps due to the unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce nature of most of its grape varieties and terminology, which means that there are many excellent values to be discovered here by the adventurous consumer. The country is perhaps better known for being the world’s leader in cork production than for its wine.

Port, made in the Douro Valley, is the fortified wine for which Portugal is most famous. The same region also produces full-bodied dry wines made from the same set of grape varieties, which include Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo). The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast. Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão, and the bold, jammy reds of the Alentejo.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

HNYMDILSY12C_2013 Item# 165633