L’Ecole No 41 2006 syrah

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on September 12, 2008:

Hey, let’s play two! I received my club shipment the other day and one of the wines has yet to be released. (Interpretation: drink it now!) So, tonight all you winechatr readers get a true world premiere review of a superb wine. But first, let me digress. What is this…Amazon.com will be adding wine to their offerings? That would be a huge boon to the WA wineries (and some Cali folks) as far as distribution and marketing. I’m not an Amazon subscriber but I likely will become one as I do like to keep a pulse on the WA wine locale. I just hope they offer similar bulk discounts like they do at the supermarkets. But, gotta love this quote, “Someone who’s really into wine will consume nine to 11 brands a year.” This from a Cali mouthpiece, obviously. Shoot, I do nine to 11 brands a month, so what does that make me? Why, WAwineman! Master of Wine Enjoyment! WAhoo!

So, with a recent sampling of Betz syrahs, I have a firm establishment of a gold standard for the 2006 vintage. (McCrea’s coming soon, don’t worry, folks) While I’m no Rhone Ranger, I can say I’m ready for syrahs as this is, after all, WA red wine month, on my calendar. Again, I am a L’Ecole wine club member so, yes, you can reasonably expect a bias but I will minimize it. After cleansing my palette with a fresh garden salad, I paired this spicy number with good ol’ meatloaf. I must say that after pouring this wine into my Riedel glass, I noticed a similarity to Betz’s La Serenne in terms of color and nose. The taste confirmed its status with unctuous plummy and black-n-blue fruit notes. Like all excellent wines, this number gave elevation to a regular meal without overpowering its companion. Consider this the 90-standard for all WA syrahs.

Nose: blueberry, brambly plum, Smucker’s boysenberry jam, black cherry. Color: Royal purple with magentic edges. Mouthfeel: viscous middleweight, chewy. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: singin’ the blues-berry, black cherry, red plum, Schilling black pepper, dash of Spice Islands. Great balance of tannins and acids.

Alcohol: 14.8%. Couple thousand cases. Syrah 95%, grenache 5%. Rated: 90. Value: $30. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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