Monday, March 31, 2014

Sly Dog Cellars 2007 Syrah, Suisun Valley

sly dog 14 001

Sometimes I think that certain wine regions have a visibility problem. For example, the Finger Lakes region should be a lot better known based on the quality of its wine. It’s also easy for Michigan to fly under the radar of American wine lovers.

However, those two regions appear like media giants compared to Suisun Valley. Where is Suisun Valley you (and many others) may ask? It is a rustic wine area and farm community in Northern California’s Solano County between San Francisco and Sacramento.

A few years ago I received some bottles from Sly Dog Cellars, including this 2007 Syrah and was impressed with the quality of wine. I’m not sure the status of the winery, because when I Google Sly Dog Cellars the first item to pop up is Sly Dog Cellars – a blog about pets and it has the same logo as the one on my bottle of Syrah! Their last vintage appears to be 2007. It’s part of the Artisan Family of Wines, which produced a popular Meritage under the Seven Artisans label.

But on to the wine… This is an unfined Syrah with a light body. The aroma is subdued. On the palate the flavors are of earth and woods – certainly not a fruit-driven wine. With Syrah, we appreciate the rugged character of the grape. Here it offers traces of blackberry, oak and vanilla. This is a wine that calls out for some olives or a nice tapenade.

The Sly Dog is a wily creature and its wine is top notch. Here’s hoping the Sly Dog has more vintages in store.

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