Updated 2009-03-11 10:38:51 ID=181:1

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, November's Wine picks, Vina Robles Roseum and Eos Petite Sirah 2008-11-13 17:19:58:74
©2008 The Romantic Table

November's Wine picks, Vina Robles Roseum and Eos Petite Sirah

November, wine value picks: EOS 2005 Petite Sirah, Vina Robles 2007 Roseum


We asked Linda Cooks, manager of the Paso Robles Albertsons wine department for a couple of wine "value" recommendations.

The rules were simple, we asked for two food friendly wines, a Red and a White (or Rose) from local wineries and a cost of under $18.00 a bottle.

We asked Linda Cooks, manager of the Paso Robles Albertsons wine department for a couple of wine "value" recommendations. The rules were simple, we asked for two food friendly wines, a Red and a White (or Rose) and under $18.00 a bottle.

Linda suggested two we should take a closer look at, EOS 2005 Petite Sirah ($15.99 - Preferred Savings price $10.99) and Vina Robles 2007 Roseum ($12.99 - Preferred Savings price $8.99).

EOS 2005 Petite Sirah

From the EOS website www.eosvintage.com

©2008 The Romantic Table, EOS 2005 Petite Sirah 2008-11-13 17:28:12:75
©2008 The Romantic Table

EOS 2005 Petite Sirah
"Traditional aromas of black pepper, cherry, blackberry and spice are layered in this 2005 release of our flagship varietal. Bright, luscious flavors of black currant and boysenberry highlight this silky-smooth wine, which finishes long and gracefully with hints of mocha and spice. Food Pairing Recommendations: Serve at cellar temperature with the classic pairing of Peking duck, or try with grilled, ground lamb kabobs prepared with fresh mint, cumin and cilantro."

Background

Petite Sirah, as it is called in California is not Syrah. Recent genetic analysis at UC Davis indicates that Petite Sirah actually a clone of Durif, which is a cross between Peloursin and the true Syrah. In France where Durif was developed, Durif did not produce particularly distinguished wines, and although originally developed for its Mildew resistance, it is susceptible to bunch rot. Once widely planted, today, it is not of great commercial significance in France.

Petite Sirah fares much better in California where it first arrived in the late 1880s, actually displacing the true Syrah which had been established earlier in Napa. It the days of Prohibition it became widely established because the thick skins made it suitable for shipping to home wine makers.

Petite Sirah produces dark, tannic wines with peppery - plummy overtones. It is a good producer and commonly used as blending wine with Rhone varietals and with Zinfandel to tone down the jamminess Zins tend towards when grown in the hot Central Coast areas.

In the hands of a good wine maker, Petite Sirah can produce very good wines, similar to Syrah, though not as complex and a bit more tannic because of the thicker skins.

Our observations

In the glass. the appearance of the wine was dark ruby red, transparent and clean. Swirling the glass, the wine nicely coated the glass side with slow running tears indicating that the wine had some substantial body to it.

The aroma of the wine was fruity, but not overly so, with the characteristic hints of cherry and berry jam we were looking for.

On the palette, the wine was full, dry, smooth, with a nice bit acidity and pronounced but not harsh tannins. The Alcohol at 13.5% was pleasant and not harsh.

The finish lingered surprisingly long, smooth but substantial, leaving a nice warm echo of the wine in the mouth.

This is food friendly wine. The tannins are substantial and it will complement roasted and braised red and dark meats very well. While we are not sure how well this wine will pair with Peking Duck(!) it will pair very well with Duck Ragu, braised lamb shanks and grilled lamb chops with Mediterranean spices (Thyme, Rosemary and Chervil).

Vina Robles 2007 Roseum

From the Vina Robles website www.vinarobles.com

©2008 The Romantic Table, Vina Robles 2007 Roseum 2008-11-13 17:27:04:76
©2008 The Romantic Table

Vina Robles 2007 Roseum
"Dark coral in color, this wine has a fresh and aromatic bouquet of raspberries and white cherries with floral and white pepper accents. Flavors of wild strawberries, pomegranate and cranberry supported by vibrant acidity, with a clean dry finish. Paring suggestions: Asian salad, crab meat, or simple chicken dishes."

Roseum is a classic Rhone blend of mostly Grenache as a backbone for the wine, with Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Viognier to fill it out..

Rosé wines.

Most Americans are confused by Rosé wines. Typically our first experience with a Rosé wine is a "White Zinfandel" or a Portuguese "frizzanté rosé " like Mateus, both medium sweet wines. This leads us to believe that rosé wines are a kind sweet wine from a pink grape. This is not true. Rosé is a not a grape type, but a style of wine making.

The color of wine grapes is almost exclusively in the skin, the grape juice itself is mostly clear. For that matter, a lot of the complex flavors of the grapes are in the skins. For maximum extraction of the flavor and color of the grape, red wines go through a preliminary step called "Maceration" where the skins of the grapes are kept in contact with the juice to extract color (anthocyanins), phenols and flavor agents. A rosé wine starts as a red wine, but the maceration period is shortened. The result is a wine with a range of characteristics from red to white, depending upon the length of maceration. Typically the goal is to create a wine lower in tannins, while retaining some of the flavor characteristics of its full red counter part.

Background

Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Viognier are four of the classic grapes from the Rhone region of France . In the Rhone region, Grenache is the most widely planted varietal, but is usually blended with other fruit (as is the case here) to give it more structure in the final wine.

Roseum is a classic Rhone blend of predominately Grenache as a backbone for the wine, with Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Viognier to fill it out. The wine was aged in a stainless steel tank and had no oak, making the wine more "seafood " friendly in our opinion.

Our observations

The appearance of the wine was an attractive deep blush color, more like the color of fresh raspberries than coral in our opinion. The color was transparent, clean, and the wine sparkled in our glasses as we swirled the wine. The wine coated the glass nicely indicating some substantialness in the structure.

The classic fruity berry aroma was pronounced, but also a little bit of citrus we thought.

The taste of the wine was dry, nice sparkling acidity, with a little but not pronounced tannin. The alcohol was subdued and balanced with the rest of the flavors. The overall impression was of a light mouthful.

The finish was light and dry, and lingered long enough to get a full sense of the wine.

This wine will pair well with lightly seasoned shellfish and seafood. The acidity level makes it a good selection for simple but classic butter-caper sauces like Sole Meuniere, but it has enough zest to pair with a more robust dish like Shrimp Paloma.




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A tip from Sue!

Use A Pasta Pot for Pasta

If you like pasta and are planning on having it often, I recommend getting a pasta pot.

After trying different sets, the best one I’ve found was the original, least expensive one. It’s a stainless steel pot with separate built-in pasta basket. It also comes with a vegetable steamer. Something like it is available on the Internet for about $40.00. and at several local supermarkets as low as $30.00.

You don’t need to have a real heavy pan---otherwise you’re going to waste all your time heating the pan instead of getting it to boil quickly. Don't worry about hot spots since all you’re going to be doing with it is boiling water.