Seems like a nice offer, price is good, wine looks interesting.
David Girard Vineyards – Syrah, El Dorado – 2011
Color – dark garnet, translucent, no sediment
Aroma – Magical scentless wine! I’m partially kidding. Nose deep in the glass and nothing. Swirl forever…nose in the glass…a bit of red fruit and floral notes hiding back in there.
First Taste – Made up for any subtleness in the bouquet with a flavor punch. A lot of sour cherry/strawberry and floral notes. The fruit is really concentrated…which brings dried fruits and prunes to mind. I’m not that familiar with the El Dorado AVA, but it reminds me a bit of the concentrated fruit in some Paso Robles offerings.
Venturi helps it quite a bit. It’s a little bit less of a fruit flavor punch now. Still really bright red fruits and some floral notes…violet/lavender/rose…that side of things. Short to medium finish.
With Dinner – Really overpowered the lamb and cheese grits. I’m not sure this is going to be an especially good food wine.
S.O.’s summary – Smell I get tart fruit. Taste I get tart fruit and sour on the back side. I like the front of it, but I’m having a hard time describing it. It’s “ok”. (Note, that middle of the road review didn’t stop her from drinking her half of the bottle.)
My summary – Very easy to drink wine, as evidenced by the fact we polished it off in one night (not the norm for us). Very concentrated flavor, and I would describe it as a fruit bomb. Easy to drink, but not a wine that really asks to be examined and noticed. Personally, it isn’t what I look for in my Syrahs. My favorite Syrahs have a lot of interesting layers of things going on like dark red fruits, smokey bacon, and earthy notes. If I had poured this blind without reading the label, I wouldn’t have guessed it as a Syrah at all, in fact.
That said, I imagine this would be a very easy crowd pleaser, especially to people that don’t call themselves wine snobs.
Thanks for the notes, could you maybe list some other syrahs that you really do like. Just for a frame of reference.
Sure thing…Syrahs I remember buying from woot and really liking:
Canihan Family Vineyards (Exuberance)
R. Merlo (especially for a daily drinker)
Cougar Crest - lots of bacon/smoke in that one
Tallulah - been awhile and I have no notes, but I remember liking it a lot
We’re here and checking in periodically to answer any questions you might have about these three Syrahs.
Our Estate is located near Coloma, where gold was first discovered in CA in 1848. Elevation in the Syrah block is about 1500’, and for this bottling we blend Estate fruit with Syrah sourced from the Fenaughty Vineyard, in Apple Hill at a cooler 2700’. Both vineyards are farmed by our esteemed Vineyard Manager, Ron Mansfield, so we know what we’re getting each year!
Our Estate is all Decomposed Granite with a sandy texture. Fenaughty is red clay from a relatively rare volcanic deposit that covers about 30 square miles (that’s a guess).
We get great aromatic complexity (i think?!) from our sandy soils, and structure and a little heft from the higher elevation red clay. BTW the name for the soils at Fenaighty is “Aiken”, the same sseries that has made Howell Mountain so famous.
BTW FWIW the 2009 is a library wine, this is its last public offering.
2010 is the current release.
2011 has only been made available to our wine club thus far and won’t be released for about a year.
David, thanks for joining us today and for making these syrahs available to us. You also make delicious salad dressings.
Not so good at football though.
Uh, thanks! This is Grayson, the winemaker. But I’ll tell David.
Thanks also for your thorough and informative review of the 13 Rose of Grenache.
If you’re referring to David Garrard, I’d disagree quite strongly, and not just because of 2007, which was an amazing year for a QB by ANY measuring stick.
Lifetime passer rating over 85. Almost twice as many TD as INT.Lifetime completion rate over 60% to go along with a winning record (surprise?).
All while suffering from Crohn’s disease. Quite amazing, actually!
You’re welcome, the forum tasting notes is one of the unique thing about WW that keeps people coming back so I always try and provide good notes whether favorable or not. It looks like the reviewer on the 11’ Syrah provided really nice notes to his/her experience but ultimately felt it was not their style of wine.
Can you comment as to the style you were aiming for as the winemaker? And does it run through all three vintages? Does girard have a house style?
Unfortunately I was not the winemaker until about 14 months ago. But I can say what I like most about the wines is that they’re a great representation of each vintage:
2009 – warm, sunny, but with the challenge of heat spikes. The opportunity to make intensely fruity, California style wine was there, and that’s what I find in our 2009 Syrah. It was also one of our most successful wines to date.
2010 – cool but evenly so, rain in Spring but not at Harvest. Closed and inward, but with the spice of a cool year. More spice than fruit, even. Will age the best of the three.
2011 – notoriously challenging. Late rains into June, then return of rain in early September. Latest harvest dates on record. Light-medium body, but with great complexity of flavor. Ready to drink now, and a great food wine. Crozes-Hermitage would be an old-world reference point.
A big part of the house style is to pay attention to detail, and let the vineyard express itself in the wine. All fermentations are in extremely small lots – .5T to 3T, or 1 to 7 barrels – and each block is harvested multiple times on the property.
Interesting notes! Thanks! Sounds like the 2010/11 are more my style, but there’s always room for an intensely fruity wine form time to time.