Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chalone Vineyard 2005 Estate Syrah

fume blanc moscato 003

First, the obvious question, where or what the heck is Chalone? Not only is it the name of the winery, but also the AVA from where this wine originates. Chalone Vineyard is the only winery within this wine region.

You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of it. But after tasting this distinctive wine, you probably won’t forget it.

Chalone is a tiny wine region with about 300 acres of vines that straddles the borders of Monterey and San Benito counties in California. It is high in the Gabilan Mountains and has distinctive limestone and decomposed granite soils.

The Chalone Syrah offers brambly, herbal flavors over light to medium tannins. It displays a smooth balance and restrained blackberry and cherry.

This is quite a departure from fruit-driven California wines, drawing instead from its rugged terroir and limestone soils for an intriguing wine that displays a subtle strength. It’s a natural pairing with hearty meat dishes.

We scored this bottle for only $7 on closeout at World Market.

The property that is now Chalone Vineyards was first planted in 1919 and the winery now regularly receives national recognition for its wines, especially its estate Chardonnay.

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Rating: 3 of 5   Value: 4 of 5

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