For those of you across the country now thawing out from a cold winter, we are about to hit the ideal window for shipping wines before temps rev up to summer highs. So if you live in an area with extreme highs and lows that may be risky for wine shipment most of the year, and have wine stored here, please contact us to arrange for shipping your wines.
| Last summer, we were awarded via an editor’s pick, the distinction of being Best French Wine Warehouse by the SF Bay Guardian. We are still very proud of the award, but want to let it be known that our selections are not confined to the land of Gaul. Personally, I am drawn to French wines due to their complexity, food pairing ability, and in many cases, their affordability versus wines of similar quality from other regions. But I’m open to value wines wherever they may come from. I did just check our blog to see if I have ever raved (in writing) about a wine that wasn’t French. Well, the answer is no. Not until today. Do you all remember a Chilean Pinot Noir we had in last year from the producer, Azul Profundo?. Let’s just say that it was an outstanding Pinot that delivered plenty of pleasure for a lower price tag than many lesser wines. Guess what? They’re baaaaaack!!!
This time they stopped by with their 2005 Cachapoal Valley Syrah. Wow! That’s a word I seldom use in my tasting notes, but when I do, you can be sure that I mean it. Maybe I just love Syrah, but if you asked me to describe this wine in one word, I would have to use wow. It didn’t wow just me, either. Smiles and praise swirled around our tasting table like fruit flies, as we all regretfully spit our samples into the bucket. With a purple-toothed smile, I asked, “Same price as their Pinot Noir?” Nope. How ’bout $14.98? It’s a steal. It’s got that smoky Syrah aromatic, intertwined with a funky earthiness that could be mistaken for something from, say, the northern Rhone? There’s plenty of luscious dark fruit to go along with the smoky earthiness, and my initial reaction was to toss this into a blind tasting of northern Rhone Syrahs as a ringer. Just as a weather balloon, I took a bottle to band practice last night, and, as I suspected, it was a big hit.
Winemaker Jessica Tomei sources the grapes from the Cachapoal Valley, which is a sub-appellation of the Rapel Valley some 95 kilometers south of Santiago. The region sees its share of warm weather that perfectly suits varieties like Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon, and based on this bottle, Syrah as well. It won’t be around for too long as a mere 600 cases were bottled, and at this price … well, you know.
Let the record show that I am not confined to France when it comes to wines I rave about. As a matter of fact, there is a California Cabernet with the Peter’s Pick sign on it right now; but we’ll save that story for another email. If you like Syrah for its smoky characteristics, that shows a lush, dark fruit profile, that’s under $15 per bottle, this wine is for you! – Peter Zavialoff