850 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
Soon has crafted this vintage in an approachable style, co-fermenting the
Syrah with about ten per cent Viognier in the typical northern Rhône style,
and aging it for 20 months in American and French oak barrels. Dark ruby
in colour and moderately viscous, we found notes of plums, black cherries
and ground pepper on the nose. The wine is soft on the palate with wellintegrated
tannins and features a long, velvety finish of raspberries, fennel
and spice. Excellent value.
OJAI VINEYARDS ROLL RANCH SYRAH 2014
U.S. Available at Marquis Wine Cellars $72
The Syrah and Viognier grapes for this terrific wine were tended by vineyard
manager Martin Ramirez from the Roll Ranch site, situated in the
upper Ojai Valley just east of Santa Barbara, and made into something special
by founder and winemaker Adam Tolmach. It has a deep garnet colour.
There are prunes, mint and rosemary on the nose, a mix of blackberries and
plums in the mouth and a lingering finish of pepper, slate and a little Swiss
chard. This is a nuanced, complex wine that will get better with age. We
enjoyed this with rack of lamb and you will too.
TWO HANDS BELLA’S GARDEN SHIRAZ 2013
Australia #232736 $80
The “Two Hands” that bring you this wine are Michael Twelftree and
Richard Mintz, and “Bella” is Richard’s daughter, who was 11 when the
grapes for this wine were harvested from her namesake vineyard in the
Barossa Valley. It is a deep purple colour, thick and leggy in the glass. We
noted blackberries, cocoa, lavender and leather aromas. There is an explosion
of fruit in the mouth, unsubtle but eventually giving way to a complex
architecture of berries, black pepper and turmeric. We would describe this
as “bumbleberry jam in a glass”; you can drink it or spread it on toast. It
requires a hearty meat dish to go with it.
M. CHAPOUTIER CROZES-HERMITAGE LES MEYSONNIERS 2015
France #131078 $27
This affordable Syrah from the Chapoutier family presents itself as the
colour of blackberry jam in the glass. It has the dominant and expected
smell of plums on the nose, but with added notes of figs, orange peel and
Chinese spices. The blackberries return in the mouth and on the finish,
with a nice pepper zip to it at the end. For a rather young wine it is nicely
structured now but will soften with some time in the bottle. We would pair
this with a Sunday roast of beef or a porchetta.