Monday, December 6, 2010

2001 Snoqualmie Columbia Valley Syrah: Swamped by Sediment

What better way to cap off an evening of entertainment than a nice bottle of vino? We had just attended a performance by the Broadway Boys and headed back to the house for a dual purpose. I had received a shipment of a case of wine ordered from Winery Insider and Ace of Bass and I were to split up the booty. Of course, we wanted to sample a bit of wine as well.

I had selected a 2001 Snoqualmie Syrah. According to my cellar software, the wine was rated “drink/mature.” So, the question was whether the wine had “jumped the shark” or the tannins softened into a nice sipping experience.

Glorious T said it looked a little “sketch.” We decanted it through Vinturi into our decanter. All eyes became riveted to the bottle. Sloshing in the bottle was a healthy dose of sediment.  The residue is bitter tasting but harmless. It’s created over time by the breakdown of pigments and tannins in the wine. It’s important to note that sediment can be found in great wine, so we still didn’t know exactly what we had. (Editor: the Snoqualmie wasn't from the Winery Insider case, but rather a dark recess of my wine cellar.)

The Vinturi has a screen, so none of the sediment went into our decanter or our glasses. The wine had a nice garnet color. But the moment of truth revealed a wine that had turned and exhibited a bitter taste. The Snoqualmie was soon gurgling down the drain (much to the disappointment of Green Dragon, who thought she could make some good spaghetti sauce with it).

I knew this was a possibility, so I had a standby wine ready to roll: 2005 White Oak Napa Valley Merlot. This was a good wine, the body was a little fuller, and the approach stronger than the smooth Merlot I was expecting.

We also popped open a bottle of Cameron Hughes Lot 39 2005 Barossa Valley Shiraz, which was a selection from the Winery Insider case. This was a tasty number with a berry approach and pepper on the end. It opened up as we sipped and was the top-rated wine of the night.

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invino By Winery Insider said...

We're glad you liked the Cameron Hughes Lot 39 Barossa Valley Shiraz from Winery Insider (invino). Just to note-- The Snoqualmie is not a wine we sold (nor ever have)...from your other wine shipment perhaps? Always sad to hear about less than stellar wines; glad to know it wasn't ours. Cheeers!

Dave Nershi, CSW said...

Thanks for the post and thanks for clarifying what might have been confusing for our readers. We're looking forward to sampling the rest of our case from Winery Insider. It also should be noted that I have had other quite good wines from Snoqualmie.