Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Drew & Guigal

As far as the weather goes yesterday was just about perfect and very unusual for this area at the end of August.  There were almost no clouds, the humidity was low and the temperature topped out at 78 degrees.  There was a small group that got together for dinner to cook a cow.  In reality it wasn't the whole cow, but it was a 4 inch thick, dry aged rib-eye steak that was half grilled and half roasted.  It was delicious.

There were two wines and both were very good.  The first was a 2006 Drew Family Cellars, Ridgeline Syrah from the Mendocino Ridge AVA.  A number of Syrahs in California have gone the way of some of the Cabernet Sauvignons.  They have become big, over ripe monsters with very high alcohols and syrupy sweetness.  The Drew was certainly cut from a different cloth.  The nose was hard, dark cherries, some earthy spice and some wisps of raw meat.  The wine was a definite purple, showing its young age.  The flavors were definitely fruit forward with dark cherries, some plum notes and that little bit of raw meat.  Great acidity and tannin, a medium mouth feel and a long, smoky finish that stretched on for a good time.  With the food it was almost perfect since there was enough tannin and acid to cut through the fattiness of the steak. 

If I had to compare it to a European wine it would be Crozes Hermitage.  There wasn't quite enough depth to rival a Hermitage and it was a little too refined for a St Joseph.  This wine still needs a couple of years. but the good news is that there are two more in the cellar.  It disappeared quickly.

The second wine was a 2003 E. Guigal Hermitage.  Deeper and darker than the Drew in the glass, this wine had a touch of brett to it that took several minutes to work it's way out.  Dark color, notes of raw meat and plums in the nose.  The taste was deeper and fuller than the Drew but the wine tasted a tiny bit hot, and a little bit old.  Long finish to this wine as well and it was still a joy to drink when the brett aromas faded. 

Drew, 14.4% alcohol and $33.
Guigal, 13% alcohol and $70.

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