It's been a busy week, and it seems like my weekends are just as busy! This weekend I did a bunch of chores around the house, had dinner with some friends last night, did more chores today, went to the airport to tour a World War II era B-17 bomber, and now I'm ready to relax! And what better way to relax than to open a bottle of wine from one of my all time favorite wineries, L'Ecole No. 41! Tonight it's the 2009 Seven Hills Estate Syrah, a wine that L'Ecole has been doing exceptionally well for more than a decade, so let's see how this recent example stacks up.
The color is a bright garnet in the glass, with a bit of opacity. The nose is a blast of ripe black fruit, blackberries, cherries, layered over leather and oak, along with a sweet twang that is very reminiscent of a nice Bordeaux. The taste is not nearly as fruity as the nose would suggest, as you start with some mild berry and plum flavors that transition to some notes of tart cherry and dark chocolate mid-palate. There is a nice layer of minerality here as well, with some earthy notes. The finish is quite nice as the well developed tannins support a long, very dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's just a pleasure to sip, despite the recent bit of warm weather we've been having. Tonight I am pairing it with some classic surf & turf, a nice Kansas City cut, bone-in NY Strip along with a grilled lobster tail, served with some pesto buccatini and steamed brussels sprouts, what a summer feast! The wine really plays well against the bigger flavors of this meal, as the sweeter fruit notes play against the hearty beef, while the tannins on the finish are a nice foil to the richness of the lobster. Cheers!