Monday, July 30, 2007

2005 Sutton Cellars Syrah

It is such a joy to find a enjoyable, new wine. Last evening, I tried one of the new wines I had acquired on my recent trip to the Lower Falls Wine Co. This was a wine that had intrigued me when I first saw it and which one of the wine store employees had also recommended.

The 2005 Sutton Cellars Syrah, Bennett Valley ($20), is made from 88% Syrah and 12% Carignane. The label states the Carignane is added for “structure, complexity and utter slurpability.” Only 79 cases of this wine were made.

Sutton Cellars is a small, artisanal winery in California that was founded in 1996. The winemaker, Carl Sutton, used to be a wine salesman and cellar worker. He started making his own wine in 1990. The main label concentrates on small lots of single vineyard wines from primarily Sonoma Coast and the Russian River Valley. They also sometimes use grapes from Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Bennett Valley. All of Sutton Cellar's wines are unfiltered and gravity filled by hand. Total output of the winery is only around 3500 cases, with no single wine being made in over 300 cases.

I should note that the winery website is of very limited use. It currently contains only a single page, giving little more than prices for their 2003 & 2004 wines.

The Syrah had little of a nose and it was a bit lighter in color than I expected. It surprised me on my palate. Maybe I was expecting a big, bold Syrah. Instead, I got more of a Rhone style wine. It was incredibly smooth, like liquid velvet. There were great fruit flavors of blackberry and blueberry. This melded into a spicy finish though the spice was a bit subdued. It had a very long finish. The more I drank, the more I enjoyed this wine. It was complex, balanced and just delicious.

I drank the wine with cheeseburgers and potato salad and the wine went well with the beef. It probably would make a good BBQ wine as well.

At its price, I think this is an excellent value wine, a highly recommended Drink & Buy. You won't find many low production wines of this quality at this price.

I can't wait to try their Carignane!

Sutton Cellars
PO Box 14697
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Phone: (877) 863-4633


Anonymous said...

hmm can't say i've had syrah much. i think i had it at one of the vineyards in napa once. too bad they don't have a whole lot of cali wines in taiwan. just surfing on blogroll - please come visit my blog when you get a chance.

Richard Auffrey said...

Hi Steve and welcome to my blog. What kind of wines are common in Taiwan? I will check out your blog in more detail soon. Just from a quick look though, there are some very enticing food photos.