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Shale Ridge Syrah 2001

Syrah/Shiraz from California
  • WS85
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

WINEMAKING: Once harvested, the grapes are crushed into stainless steel fermentors where they are allowed to "cold soak" prior to fermentation. After a lengthy and warm fermentation the must is pressed and the young wine is then allowed to settle maturely. Malolactic fermentation is typically completed by late February at which point the wine was lightly aerated to incorporate tanninsoftening oxygen. Only a modest amount of oak was given to the wine to round out its flavor profile.

TASTING NOTES: This wines brilliant ruby color is just a prelude to its bright aromas of blackberry jam, mint, and spicy black pepper. The tannin structure is soft, yet firm, lending itself to a medium-bodied style of Syrah. The finish is long with the lingering flavors of black fruits.

FOOD PAIRING: This wine pairs well with medium-spiced dishes such as garlic & lemon roasted chicken, pork chops, and hamburgers. It can also compliment outdoor barbequed and picnic foods.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 85
Wine Spectator
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Shale Ridge

Shale Ridge

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California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by 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.

WBO750026_2001 Item# 56887