Sharon’s Wine Pick of the Week: Ojai Vineyard Syrah, Thompson Vineyard, 2006, $44
Last spring, we stayed in the new age So Cal town of Ojai and spent a pleasant hour tasting the wonderful syrah produced at Ojai Vineyard—the tasting room is right in the charming main town. We bought a vertical variety of syrahs, we were so impressed with them. This week, we pulled out a 2006 from the Thompson Vineyard, which produces some of the winery’s boldest fruit. The 2006 has some nice age on it, but it’s still got plenty of room to go. The vintage has a brightness and wonderful texture, thanks to a balance of acidity and tannins. I was blown away by the smoky, toasted nut, eucalyptus qualities—it’s like capturing a smoldering fire in an Ojai forest in a bottle. Then as the wine started opening up, I got some concentrated black cherry fruit peeking through, with a brine-sea salt finish. It’s true, the wine may be not as layered, structured, or complex—in the later vintages Ojai Vineyards started blending a bit more grenache and mourvedre into their syrah. But I still find this deep, smoky wine—it’s got a great, long finish—to be a wonder, especially on a rainy LA night like this one. It makes me think of campfires and toasted, salty Marcona almonds. It would be great paired with a hearty stew and rustic kale, pear, almond salad. I give it a 90. If you’d like to check out Ojai Vineyards, click here.
Sunday, December 2, 2012