Campbell Ranch Vineyard Anthill Farms Syrah 2009

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t actually like this wine, which would be a sad way to start my new blog devoted to cool-climate syrah.  On the nose I got a big shot of raspberries and that was all, the mid-palate seemed thin and harsh and that led into a metallic, acidic, and mineral finish.  But, as it turned out it just needed some time.  I re-corked the bottle and left it on the counter to rest for the night.

The next afternoon it was a different wine.  Still some nice berry fruit (but more blackberry) on the nose but also a hint of salty black olives, minerals, and beef jerky.  The mid-palate rounded out and the minerality and acidity meshed together for a much more palatable finish.  It has a nice licorice aftertaste too.  This is decidedly not a simple, gulpable, sweet shiraz.  This is Syrah, this is manly stuff with lots of acidity.   It’s a wine you need to get to know a bit, a wine that you need to think about, a wine that’s at once brawny and delicate.

It turns out that this was the perfect wine to start my blog with.  It’s complex, low-alcohol, savory, and has a ton of possibilities to pair with food.  You know those super expensive crackers you can get from Whole Foods that have currants and nuts in them and they go incredibly well with a triple-cream?  That’s what I want with this wine, it could stand up to the savory-sweetness of the crackers and the richness of the cheese and I would love it.  Unfortunately, I’m on Weight Watchers after the holidays again, so no triple cream, but that’s what I’m craving with this wine.

I can’t wait to try more Anthill Farms wines and I can only imagine how much better these wines are going to get as the vines get older.  Anthill’s website says these vines are grown in Annapolis, which I know intimately, having gotten married there.  It’s not far from the coast.  The vines are a decade old and they are low-yielding.

This is the good stuff folks, this is the stuff to seek out.  As I’ve said, I love Pinot, but these are the wines that really get me excited about Syrah.  Now, I can only hope that Anthill continues their Syrah program and that others jump on board.

I found this wine at Roberts Market in Woodside, CA (which has a great California wine selection by the way).

Anthill Farms Winery

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3 thoughts on “Campbell Ranch Vineyard Anthill Farms Syrah 2009

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