I’ve recently started a tasting group with a few other wine industry folks interested in tasting and learning about all sorts of wine, and especially interested in expanding our palates beyond just Walla Walla wines: something I’ve been interested in for awhile now. We recently had our first real tasting, and we decided to theme it around Syrah; it’s a Walla Walla favorite, is grown in many very different wine regions around the world, and is extremely easy to get your hands on in Walla Walla.
We ended up with three different Syrahs from three different regions. This tasting was awesome because each wine was so incredibly distinct (and also one of them was faintly corked and started smelling mustier and mustier the longer it was open).
2002 The Gate, McLaren Vale, Australia (very plummy, more dried fruit than fresh fruit, but definitely still drinkable. I thought for sure this would be way past its prime, but I very much enjoyed it. Less savory than the other two)
2011 Saint Cosmes, Cotes du Rhone, France (this was the corked one; it tasted pretty good for the first few minutes, and then it started smelling like musty basement. When it was first opened, it had some nice cherry and wet stone notes)
2011 Sleight of Hand “The Funkadelic”, Walla Walla Valley (funky, earthy, meaty; I love Syrahs like these that have some great savory notes to them. Definitely the boldest of the three)
I also really enjoyed getting to taste the difference between old and young Syrah; the 2002 was more dried cherry and plum, while the younger ones were brighter fruit and some really nice smoked meat and olive notes (particularly the Funkadelic, which is made from an area of vineyards known for being earthy and funky and was designed to be that way during the winemaking process). All in all, it was really fun to get to experience three completely different wines made from the same grape.
Our next varietal will be Temperanillo! Can anyone recommend a good Temperanillo for me to bring to the next tasting?