Sunday night we attended a Syrah tasting at Leonard Oakes Winery in Lyndonville, NY. This was set up by the Buffalo-Niagara Winos, a local FB Group. It was a small gathering of about a dozen or so and it was interesting that Mary Jo and I were the only people there who did not work at a winery. We had munchoids of pork and chicken paté and home made bread. The tasting was held in the winery's production facility and it was a bit on the cool side. The wines were opened and placed on the tables and we tasted them in no particular order.
2009 Jacob's Creek Shiraz – this had big fruit and left an alcohol burn sensation in the back of my throat. Not much to my liking.
2010 Shild Estate Shiraz – this also had big fruit, a full, medium long finish, but with harsh tannins – this wine needs lots of bottle age.
2001 Edmund St. John Wylie Fenoughty Syrah - After requesting info about this wine on the Wine Lovers Page, Redwinger gifted me this bottle. I noticed a lot of sediment, so I decanted and returned it to the original bottle about 2 hours before the event. Unfortunately, it was somewhat corked – the noticeable, though not overwhelming odor of musty wet newspapers. In the mouth, it was very rich, with a long, full finish.
2011 Faust Piste Syrah, Oregon, Columbia Valley – one of my two favorites and a bit different. This wine exhibited a black pepper character that I've noticed in Lemberger in addition to a caramel scent in the nose. This had a long, full finish, a bit heavy on the tannins, but I could see this improving over a few more years.
2010 Cline Syrah, Carneros – this seemed strange, exhibiting aromas of cloves and geraniums. It was also lighter in color and body than the other wines. The two wine makers in attendance thought the geranium character resulted from the use of potassium sorbate in the wine, followed by malo-lactic fermentation. I am aware of this wine fault, but find it strange that a winery with a good reputation would release such a wine.
2007 Box Car Syrah, Sonoma Coast – Brett! Not overwhelming, but adding a nice complexity. Not much fruit, but developing earthy characteristics. Full, medium-long finish. Very different and my other favorite wine.
1989 Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau du Mt. Olivet, brickish color, a bit of oxidation, tertiary aromas and a full, long finish. A bit past it's prime, but enjoyable.
2012 Leonard Oakes Syrah, Tom Towers Vineyard – the grapes are from 4 year old vines, grown in Youngstown, NY, along the shore of Lake Ontario. This was a barrel sample that Jonathan Oakes obtained almost as an afterthought and is their first Syrah. Fresh, fruity and a bit thin at this stage, but the varietal characteristics were there.
Generally, I'm not a fan of Syrah, and I have to admit that none of these wines WOWed me, but it was a very nice tasting and I enjoyed some of the wines. I will be buying a few bottles of Edmund St. John Wylie Fenoughty for future enjoyment.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.