Well it's the first Saturday of February, and of course that means it's time to dig deep into the cellar and pick out a wine to open just for the pure enjoyment of it! Tonight I've gone back nearly 13 years and opened a bottle from one of my all time favorite Washington producers, the 2002 L'Ecole No. 41 Seven Hills Estate Walla Walla Syrah! Now with a wine this mature, I decided to decant it and let it breathe for about an hour before tasting, so here goes nothing!
The wine is a beautiful deep garnet color in the glass, with pretty good clarity despite its age. The nose is a blast of green grass and herbs which settles down to some lovely earthy notes of smoke and leather, overlaying some interesting mocha and cherry cola notes. The taste is divine, a blast of black cherry and cassis that quickly settles down to some earthy flavors of dusty limestone and licorice midpalate. The sturdy tannins still provide a solid foundation for a wonderfully smooth, dry finish that seems to last an eternity. What a great glass of wine!
Overall I would rate this one a solid 9, it's a fabulous example of the varietal that has stood the test of time. I am sipping this one as I'm cooking dinner and getting ready to go out to the theater tonight, but as soon as the cooking is done, I'll be pairing this wine with a wonderful pretzel crusted boneless chicken breast, some oven roasted potatoes and steamed asparagus. The subdued fruit and great earthy notes are the perfect foil for the rich, buttery chicken, even though I know you're not supposed to drink red wine with poultry. Here's to being a red wine rebel!