Happy Sunday! I was looking for a bottle of wine to open for dinner and was surprised to find a bottle from a producer I met at the Portland airport while there on business in April 2014 (you can see that post here: 2009 Cliff Cree Cellars Merlot). They are an interesting small producer located in Southern Oregon, in the town of Gold Hill. At the time I really loved the Merlot, but apparently didn't think the Syrah was too bad either, hence I'm enjoying the 2007 Cliff Creek Cellars Syrah with my Sunday dinner!
The wine is a beautiful ruby color in the glass with nice clarity. The nose presents earthy aromas of leather, musty peat and oak over layers of lush berries and plum with just a hint of smoke. The taste is quite nice, with some initial ripe black fruit that gives way to some eucalyptus and baking spice midpalate. The finish is very smooth, with a reprise of some berries intermingled with toasted oak, as the well developed tannins support the long, dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's very nice, but not as nice as the stellar Merlot (I really need to find that other bottle I brought back!). This wine would be good with a variety of rustic winter dishes, but tonight I'm pairing it with a classic holiday Sunday dinner or roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and classic green bean casserole. Cheers!