This week marks the Vancouver International Wine Festival and Syrah is the grape of the 2015 event. While this wine is not available at the festival, Allan and I opened it to celebrate Syrah in general and lazy Sunday afternoons.
This version comes from a Demeter-certified (biodynamic) winery in Cortona, east of Siena and almost at the border with Umbria. Planted by the winemaker, Stefano Amerighi in 2002, the site is referred to as the Poggiobello di Farneta. This wine was lightly foot pressed, left to ferment spontaneously and kept in wood and cement tanks for 14 months prior to bottling.
Interestingly, Syrah has been chosen as one of the main grapes of this DOC region which is a little unusual – after all, it’s an international variety and Italy has no shortage of indigenous grapes upon which to focus (some say there are close to 2,000). In fact, when you start to do a little digging, you learn Syrah has been planted here since the late 1700s.
This wine is a deep magenta with medium plus intense aromas of black olives, fresh herbs, purple flowers and licorice fern.
The palate is dry with medium plus acidity and after decanting, the initial alcohol blew off. Its feathery tannins and flavours of black tapenade, licorice, tarragon and rosemary with violets and purple plum were accented by a crushed minerality. The finish is quite long.
This is an elegant wine – not a New World, big, bold and fruity version, but rather a delicate and slender one punctuated with fruit, floral and wood nuances and a beautiful mouth feel.
WSET Very Good and drinking beautifully with room to store for 3 more years.
Syrah does very well in this area of Tuscany. That, combined with the length of time the grape has grown there, allowed it to be DOC. Not the only Tuscan DOC to allow French varieties. DOC Montecarlo also has them and the DOCG Carmignano is really the first Super Tuscan if you use that term for Cab Sauv blends in Tuscany.
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I knew you’d know the deets! Really interesting that Syrah is part of the DOC rules.