Syrah: Big Red Wines from Around the World

(Wednesday, October 12, 2016) — Majestic Syrah, from the famous Hermitage to the massive Aussie icons, is judged by most to be the equal of, or at least second only to, Cabernet Sauvignon for making the world’s best full-bodied red wines. And what’s maybe equally notable is how this superb grape has found success in so many parts of the wine world, especially the many top wine regions in the new world. And it’s not just its many successes but also how different regions have given the grape and its wines their own unique and fascinating personalities, which is what this tasting is all about.

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Of course, the starting point for Syrah is the North Rhone, its original and spiritual home. We have two examples, one from the top-level Côte-Rotie appellation, the 2005 from Bernard Burgaud, and the other from the broader St. Joseph zone, the 2004 “Offerus” from legendary producer Jean-Louis Chave. And from Italy (Italy?) will be the 2004 Toscano Colvecchio from Banfi, the well-known Montalcino estate – admittedly a bit of a rarity but Tuscany does share a Mediterranean climate with the Rhone and their experiments have certainly been fruitful.And then, there is the ever-expanding new world, from which we offer:

  • Australia (of course) – 2004 The Struie from Torbreck, as good a producer as there is in Barossa
  • New Zealand – 2007 Clos de Ste. Anne, The Crucible, a bit eclectic but NZ is still discovering what’s possible
  • Chile – 2006 Vina Ventisquero, Pangea, from a region where Syrah is flourishing and ever growing
  • Washington State – 2006 L’Ecole No. 41, 7 Hills, where Syrah is successfully challenging Cabs, as in B.C.
  •  Ontario – 2007 Lailey Impromptu (blend, mostly Syrah), showing Syrah’s potential in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Another feature of this tasting is that all these wines have a decade or so worth of age and are at their peak of drinking pleasure. And, even though these specific wines are no longer available, many of these types and styles come into Vintages regularly and this gives you a sense as to how impressive they can be with sufficient aging.

Please note that due to limited bottle availability, this tasting will be capped at 66 participants. So if you like your Syrah as so many of us do, be sure to register early.

As always with our tastings, this event will be strictly non-smoking, and we request your cooperation in not wearing any scented after-shave or perfume. Using public transit is strongly encouraged.

Date:  Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Time:  6:45 p.m.
Limit:  66 people
Place: North York Memorial Community Hall,  5110 Yonge St. (under library) – North York Centre Subway
Members: $67
Guests:     $77

Cancellations accepted up to Monday, October 10, 2016 (Jennifer Curran 905-829-4675 evenings). No reservations by phone, please. No confirmations will be issued — you will be contacted only if we are sold out.  First come basis. Non-members may attend at guest rates, but preference will be given to members.

GST/HST account: 844742619RT0001;  Business name: Winetasters Society of Toronto