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Sandler Wine Co. Connell Vineyard Syrah 2010

Syrah/Shiraz from Bennett Valley, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    11.6% ABV
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    11.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Black and white pepper, a trace of fine herbs, and red fruit mark the exotic nose. The wine’s low alcohol is a blessing with rich meaty dishes, and this diminishes the need for a high acid.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Sandler Wine Co.

    Sandler Wine Co.

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    Sandler Wine Co., California
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    Sandler wines are produced in San Francisco by owner and winemaker, Ed Kurtzman. Ed's journey into winemaking began quite by accident, when he took a job at a wine shop during his undergrad studies at UMass Amherst. It wasn't long before Ed realized that wine was more than a passing fancy. He jettisoned his original career plans, moved to California to sell wine, and soon enrolled in the enology program at Fresno State. He started out in the cellar at Bernardus, under the tutelage of Don Blackburn and Kirby Anderson. Next, he spent three harvests as assistant winemaker to Michael Michaud at Chalone before taking the reins as head winemaker for Rob and Diana Jensen's Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos. It was at Testarossa that Ed's deft touch with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay started to gain widespread attention. Before long, he found himself in demand as a consulting winemaker, taking on clients including Fort Ross, Freeman, Roar and Mansfield-Dunne while becoming a partner in August West.

    In 2003, Ed launched his own label, the Sandler Wine Company, devoted to small bottlings of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache, from his favorite vineyard and grower sources.

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    Bennett Valley

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    With boundaries overlapping the Sonoma Coast AVA and Sonoma Mountain AVA, Bennett Valley benefits from the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean just like its neighbors. Top grapes planted include Barbera, Pinot noir and Chardonnay, as well as Bordeaux and Rhone varieties.

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    Syrah/Shiraz

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    Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

    Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

    In the Glass

    Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

    Perfect Pairings

    Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

    Sommelier Secret

    Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

    SNDSY10_2010 Item# 148953