Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michael-David 2006 Symphony

The name of the Symphony grape conjures up images of harmony, balance and tasteful enjoyment. You can add "elusive" to that list because wines made from this grape are darn hard to find. Until picking up this bottle of Michael-David Vineyards Symphony, I had only tasted one other Symphony wine, Ironstone's Obsession (you can read the review here).

The Ironstone wine is one of our favorite casual sippers, and so I've always been on the lookout for more Symphony. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Michael-David wine amidst the closeouts at Andersons.

The Symphony grape was developed at UC-Davis and thrives in the Lodi AVA in California. It has a pleasing floral bouquet, golden color and a dollop of fruity sweetness (residual sugar of 3.13%). There are flavor notes of honey and orange blossom and a sweet, extended finish.

The winery is owned by brothers Michael and David Phillips. The Michael David Vineyards label includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Symphony, and Maley Vineyard Zinfandel. The winery also makes 7 Deadly Zins, Incognito and Earthquake.

The winery only has 2.5 acres of the grape, but Symphony has loyal followers (like me) so they continue the wine. Their Symphony plantings are some of the first of the variety in the state. It is also a strong white that is a good counterpoint to the winery's powerful reds.

We enjoy this wine and recommend it, but judge it a notch below the Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Symphony. This is mainly due to the unfettered sweetness. The Ironstone wine is about half as sweet (1.6% residual sugar) which allows savoring of the delicate floral flavors. This is a nice addition to the lineup of Symphony wines which is, unfortunately, miniscule compared to the aisle after aisle of Chardonnay.

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