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2007 Cline Sonoma County Syrah
April 23, 2010 - Norman Bentley
Some years back a few wine makers in California decided that they would try to develop some highquality wines in the style of the wines from the Rhone area of France. These guys even nicknamedthemselves "The Rhone Rangers". The premium red grapes in the Rhone area are Syrah and Grenache,which are often blended to make some of the region's most famous wines, such as Chateauneuf duPape, which was a favorite in the U.S. in the 70's, and early 80's. What these "Rhone Rangers" didwas not only make some very good wines, but they also renewed interest in the Syrah grape, which iswell known for its peppery nose and cherry-like fruit flavors.I recently sampled the 2007 Cline Sonoma County Syrah, which "The Wine Spectator" gave an 86score, and said, "Grapey, peppery wild berry flavors are clean, complex and full-bodied, ending witha hint of mineral. Drink now." I read one very complimentary review of this wine, where the writerpaired the wine with vegetarian Shepherd's Pie and said it was wonderful! Well I am not a big fan ofShepherd's Pie, and especially if there is no meat! I opted for Baby-Back Ribs, since I knew Syrahis excellent with BBQ, and boy did I make the right choice!Now there was a time when I used to tell people that the best wine with BBQ was beer, or sweet tea.Well I don't know what could have been better with those Baby-Backs than the Cline Syrah! It wasbig and bold, with lots of big black cherry and berry flavors which sailed on into a long clean finish,which cut right through the BBQ sauce. Now the wine is still a little young, so be sure to let it breathefor about twenty minutes before serving it with your meal. This wine would be very good with anyhearty meat dish, including the Shepherd's Pie or a venison stew, but try it with ribs. After all its BBQseason. Norm's score on this one is an 88.
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