Jamsheed Harem La Syrah Yarra Valley Victoria $25 92 pts.

Jamsheed Harem

I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid and one of the ones I loved the most was Pinky and the Brain. Pinky (or was it Brain?) had a saying when an alluring mouse of the opposite sex came along, “Hellloooooo Nurse! “ Well, that’s the first thing that came out of my mouth when I tasted this wine. It’s just plain alluring and delicious. It’s one of those wines that before you know it, you’ve drunk more than you anticipated you would.

A little oak on the nose, a little earth, but also a rich and inviting aroma of fruit that’s reminiscent of blackberry pie. Now, normally, that’s not necessarily a Syrah that I’d be totally into but this wine is just so pretty on the palate. It’s got some savory and meaty notes and a little richness but also just a beautiful acidity that makes you want to keep drinking it.

It’s a vision of the future for Syrah in Australia. A touch of that oak and sweetness but good lift on the mid-palate to keep it interesting and savory. What a wine!

Jamsheed’s been around for about a decade and I kept hearing rumors of a cooler climate style Australian Syrah that was worth trying. They make a few single vineyard Syrahs that are higher priced. This one’s a blend of grapes from Pyrenees (80%) and Yarra Valley (20%) areas of Australia. It’s 80% whole cluster and spends time in big puncheons old and new.

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2012 La Rosine M&S Ogier D’Ampuis $30 12.5% ABV 91 pts.

larosine

Let’s talk about crunchiness in wine. Some wines, especially Syrah grown in cool climates, have a quality that reminds me of biting into a piece of fresh fruit. The first Syrah that I really liked was like that, it had almost a crunchy pomegranate quality. This wine has that. There’s tension and verve, beautiful high-toned aromas of plum, pepper and gravel with an acidic lift on the mid-palate that is almost Pinot-like. The finish is more acid than tannin. It’s an elegant Syrah that has a freshness to it that’s hard to resist.

The Ogier family started making wine after years as growers for Guigal. Michel Ogier made his own bottling of the vineyards and now his son Stephane is the winemaker.

The wine is aged in neutral oak barrels for one year. No stem inclusion, light maceration to minimize over-extraction.

Collines Rhodaniennes is a rather new appellation in the Northern Rhone and for now it’s a great way to get to know wines from the Northern Rhone without breaking the bank.

Ogier is getting quite the reputation and the Northern Rhone. I’m looking forward to getting to know this producer more.