Friday, February 3, 2012

Silene 2009

One type of wine that I drink less of than I would like to is Syrah from the northern Rhone.  The better examples have become quite expensive and very few seem to show up on the shelves of stores in this area.  I have a few older ones resting in the cellar, but it has been awhile since I tasted a young vintage.  That changed earlier this week with a 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Silene from J L Chave'.

Medium to dark purple color in the glass and a distinct nose of dark, red fruit, dry earth, fresh meat  and squeaky clean leather left no doubt about the origin on this wine. Only a northern Rhone syrah smells like this.  The taste was bright and tart and full of dark berries, spice, a touch of vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.  There was also a bit of an under ripe taste to this wine, a taste I very much appreciated.  This wine is dialed back from the ultra ripe fruit bombs that seem to be so in style.  It was refreshing and that that leanness made it perfect with a small rack of lamb and some pasta.

After cleaning up the table and dishes I went back for another small glass and the exposure to the air did even more for this wine.  It really bloomed in the glass and smelling it was almost as much pleasure as drinking it.  There is enough acid and tannin to give it a few more years, but it so good it is certainly not a crime to drink it now.  Not cheap, but not a budget buster by any means.  Excellent value.

$30 and 13% alcohol.

No comments: