A blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Light straw in color and slightly racy nose; morning sunshine with a cool breeze. Immediately interesting and complex without being demanding or challenging, it shares the same supple texture as the Grenache. An exciting white wine. Delicious and graceful. Like the others, a wino's wine. As it reaches room temp, the voices of the different varietals get louder and louder and the early purity of this wine gets drowned by the din. Best drunk right out of the fridge.
2007 Esperance $30
A GSM blend (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre) that needs time decanted. There's that funk on the nose again, but with some seriously fast heat. Marvelous cornucopia of flavors coming at you. Sinuses alive! All kinds of deeply scented herbs and game meat. Somehow it works, but again, not for the casual suburban housewife Pinot Grigio drinker. Almost too much of a wine to handle on its own, but comes alive with grilled food.
2001 Syrah Santa Ynez Valley Hillside Select Reserve $30
We came across this wine serendipitously the day we finished writing up the previous three wines. Discovered at a gem of a wine shop, they had picked up the cellar of some unfortunate bastard who, buckling under hard times, sold his collection to the shop. Kept in a temperature controlled cellar, the bottle was in terrific shape and - hell, for $30 (the current reserve goes for $50), why not? We're glad we did. The wine is holding up just fine. In contrast to the other wines in this tasting, this one is less rambunctious and more refined. A distinguished wine that speaks softly and carries a big stick, it whispers its power in baritone. A real treat.