Thursday, June 4, 2009

Berthoud Syrah

Berthoud Vineyards & Winery

Sonoma Valley
California, USA2003
$28.00 -- Mayo Family, Glen Ellen, CA

Color: Deep garnet
Nose: Plum and mash
Body: Full
Front: Sour cherries
Middle: Dark roasted coffee, caramel
Back: Thyme, tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

It was a damn noisy late afternoon in the Mayo tasting room (they stay open until 6:30, well past most wineries) when I tried this wine, but I think I heard that it's the private label of that company's winemaker. This is some seriously French stuff; dark, earthy, and brooding.

This is not a wine for everyone. It was delicious with the roasted chicken and avocado of tonight's meal, but really, it's got a strong character. At about an hour of decanting it was at its most subtle and multilayered. There's not much more of it, honestly--they only made three barrels, to my math about 900 bottles--but it's a delight.