I’ll be the first to admit I can have a pretty expensive palate. With so much good wine to drink, I’ll make concessions for the price point if I really love it. That said, this is absolutely one of my favorite wines from a region that can really climb in cost, and it’s amazingly inexpensive for the quality. It over-delivers in the best way and it’s one of my best kept secrets for impressing on a budget.
As a Syrah from southern France, it’s already going to be dense, lush and fruity, but this particular producer leaves this wine unfiltered so it offers yet another layer of silky texture and persistent fruit flavors. Sip after sip layer back upon themselves and create a complex, well-integrated flavor profile full of plums, stewed blackberries, baking spice, licorice, and some sweet vanilla oak. The aromas definitely open up with a little bit of time and offer delicate scents of ripe red fruit, crushed rose petals, and clove, as well as hints of traditional aromas like red meat, cedar and tobacco. The tannins are fine and persistent, though being unfiltered leaves a fair amount of sediment in the final pour. If you’re like me, that’s just an added treat.
The last time I had this lovely wine, I paired it with charred toast points with a handful of soft, pungent cheeses, like Cambazola and Humboldt Fog. The wine’s inherent sweetness but robust body is a perfect match for the texture and flavors of appetizers like that, and would stand up to any manner of red meat, rich pasta dishes or bacon-wrapped scallops.