Friday, May 25, 2012

2009 Donelan Family Wines Kobler Family Vineyard Syrah

"Wine is a journey not a destination."  That's what Joe Donelan of Donelan Family Wines has to say right on the front label of his wines.  I feel that part of that journey is taking all the really interesting turns you find along the way that your taste buds lead you on.  One of the most interesting and rewarding turns for me recently has been the one that has led me down the road of cool climate Syrah.  More and more, I'm finding that Syrah in a cool climate is the varietal that brings the most incredible balance of delicious fruit, great body and weight, ample acid, and just the right tannins when done well.  For me it is the perfect combination of power and restraint, and trying all the examples that lean to one side or the other of the power/restraint continuum is a journey I'd like to continue for quite some time. 

In your glass, the 2009 Donelan Family Wines Kobler Family Vineyard Syrah is deep purple in color.  The nose is a wonderful conglomeration of cherry, blackberry, pepper, and some meaty/gamy notes.  There is also a really unique element of pine nuts.  It sounds crazy and took me a while to identify it, but once I figured it out, this subtle smell was just like a pignoli nut cookie baking in your oven.  I cant wait to see what happens with the bouquet as this wine ages.  In your mouth, you get delicious blackberry fruit with really nice acidity and a medium body.  Smooth tannins lead you into a fantastic and long finish.  Overall, this is a wonderful and very food friendly Syrah that is clearly cool climate and very delicious.  It is an elegant example of Syrah that is Northern Rhone-like in its exceptional balance. 

From a pairing standpoint, the combination of acidity and smooth tannins found in this Kobler Family Vineyard Syrah makes this really versatile.  It could go with anything from a grilled pork tenderloin cooked medium to grilled steak or venison.  I think its sweet spot would be a seared duck breast or roasted rack of lamb, but I don't think you can go wrong with this great Syrah.  Available for a price of $45 at , its worth every penny if you're a fan of food friendly Syrah.



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