2003 Estate Syrah
Syrah •La Rousse Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Without exception these wines are great . Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Forth Vinyards.
Shipping Update: Wine ordered today WILL arrive in time for XMAS!
Exceptional Wine Alert!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: A *Forth*right Favorite
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Forth Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2003 La Rousse Vineyard Syrah
Winemaker: Gerry Forth
Agent Red returns to one of our newest favorites, Forth Vineyards, to bring you their wonderfully aromatic, beautifully balanced and very tasty La Rousse Vineyard Syrah.
During today’s mission Agent Red recommends a new Wine Spies recruit – and its none other than Jann Forth! See below for his mission report.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Rich ruby to light purple with a bouncy surface, a deep center, clarity and fat legs
Smell – Richly layered aromatics of earth, mushroom, dark stonefruit, smoked meat, leather and cherry with the mildest barnyard
Feel – Just as with Forth’s great Cabernet Sauvignon (we hope that you didn’t miss out on that one!), this Syrah has a Great mouthfeel that begins wet and light. The tannins are very mild, and the wine has a supple and elegant feel to it
Taste – The tastes here are reflected by its smells. Add to this a beautiful balance of sweetness, very mild tartness (not sourness), a hint of white pepper and a great juiciness, and you have one very delicious wine!
Finish – Velvety, slightly dry and very smooth, this wine makes your mouth water, with flavors that last and last
Conclusion – Taste any Forth Vineyards and you’ll understand why we are such big fans. This Syrah is a luscious treat that has enough flavor and acidity to allow it to pair with traditional Holiday fare, but also some unexpected cuisine. We enjoyed ours with hard cheeses and spicy vegetarian buffalo wings. Go figure! If you are a fan of Syrah, this is one that you should not miss. The only thing that surprised us about this wine was the price. Its a steal at the regular price, a true undercover value at today’s special price.
Because you are a dedicated Agent, you subscribe to the Wine Spies Daily Dispatch and read my mission reports regularly. As such, you know that my last mission to Forth Vineyards was filled with peril and intrigue. Today’s mission was no different; Jann Forth, winery maven and loving wife of winemaker Gerry Forth, once again proved difficult to track. After a difficult and protracted reconnaissance, I did finally track her down and secure today’s incredible Syrah. Full details of the Syrah can be found above.
Because of her ability to remain undercover and conduct herself in a covert manner, I issue my formal recommendation for recruitment of Jann as a fully vetted Wine Spy. If Central Command approves, I recommend Jann as a Field Operative, where she can be pressed into service sleuthing new wines. Her background and her reputation in the business give her perfect cover and it is this spy’s opinion that she will be a valuable Wine Spies Asset.
(note: Stay tuned for a future report. If Command approves, I will detail the recruitment process in a future wine report)
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Forth Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Though still a youngster, this 2003 Syrah is full of promise for a fabulous future! Northern Rhone in character, the wine is approachable and beautifully balanced, offering up beguiling leather, smoky meat and aromatic tobacco flavors along with rich, ripe black plum and blackberry fruit, woven through with a hint of white pepper and a delectable espresso finish. Firm, round tannins provide structure and age-ability and a sensuous, silky mouth feel add a satisfying tactile experience. One of our favorite food wines, this Syrah really reveals its treasures when paired with braised or grilled meats and vegetables, and is a lovely surprise when paired with foods with a bit of spice; truly a wine that begs to be taken to dinner! Enjoy!
About The Winery:
The seduction began over twenty years ago . . . a rare week for the two of us to spend time together unwinding and exploring . . . driving whenever, wherever, as far as our time would allow. This nomadic trek would lead us, as if by way of destiny, to California wine country.
Our early morning walks in nearby vineyards seemed harmless enough. But the flirtation had begun. As the years passed, we found ourselves returning again and again to this idyllic place, yielding, in particular, to the alluring call of the Dry Creek Valley.
As the relationship grew into romance, we happened upon a rare piece of property—a broken down old ranch with just the right combination of rough, rocky soil and sunshine to produce magnificent red wines. Resistance was futile. It was love at first sight.
And so, to the farewell serenade of ‘Green Acres’ by our city friends, Gerry traded in his board seat for a tractor seat and I exchanged Ann Taylor suits for overalls.
We had found a land of promise . . . or it found us. And together we share its gifts with you.
Varietals: 100% Syrah,
AVA: Dry Creek Valley
Vineyard: Forth Ranch Hillside Vineyard, Davis 1 Clone
approx 2 tons per acre
Aged: 20 months in 75% French, 25% American oak
Total Case Production: 485