Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wine is a Buzz Pt. 2

In an earlier post,, I wrote about the hype about Charles Smith's 2006 Royal City Syrah and how I acquired a couple of bottles. Well, I have not opened them yet, but I was able to enjoy a bottle with some new friends. I suppose anyone who shares a nice bottle of wine would be your new friend.

Anyway, after some banter over at Sean Sullivan's blog about the 2006 R.C.S, an invite for wine and dinner was broached and the plans started to take shape. Originally, I pitched dinner at our house and will supply the 2006 R.C.S, but Sean re-raised and said that he would supply the bottle of wine. Wow!

I prepared Pacific caught sockeye salmon on a cedar plank, artichokes, pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes. I made a sauteed mushroom appetizer and creme brulee for dessert. We bought a Charles Smith Riesling (2007 I think), as well as barrel sampled Cedar River Cellars Bella Bella Syrah 2009, Cedar River Cellars Ava's Crush Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, and Cedar River Cellars Kennydale Viognier 2009.

Sean and his friend Lindy arrived and after introductions, he poured the 2006 R.C.S into a decanter. Sean had opened the bottle up earlier in the day, so the wine had already been exposed to some air.

I did not take notes, so here we go from memory...
We all thought the nose was a bit closed, however, the strong ethanol presence helped volatilize what was there. My first whiff was of French oak barrel spice. I said it smell like a barrel room, and then further referenced the smell of the Taransaud barrels in our cellar. There was another aroma that everyone was having trouble identifying. After a couple of more sniffs, I said is smelled like milk which is most likely coming from lactic acid. Heather said it smelled like Guinness Stout, which is a very lactic beer.

The flavor had the typical Syrah notes, blue fruit and dark fruit, however, I got this awesome orange peel note when breathing back through my palate. It was just one of those chocolate orange candies. Speaking of which, I thought there was a bit of bitter-sweet chocolate notes as well as the barrel flavors. I felt that the body was a bit thin..not light..but thin. I would call the body a solid medium, but I was expecting a bit more glycerol and fuller.

Overall, a great wine, but maybe all of the hype of the scores and reviews may have biased my perception of the product to be more than it was. I have been drinking a lot of Syrahs lately and the 2006 Royal City Syrah beats them hands-down. However, I like ours better :-)