Updated 2009-03-11 10:37:50 ID=266:1

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, January, Value Wine Picks, Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve and Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah 2009-01-07 17:18:56:105
©2009 The Romantic Table

January, Value Wine Picks, Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve and Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah

January, Value Wine Picks, Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve and Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah

This month we review two wine recommendations from Linda Cooks, manager of the Paso Robles Albertsons wine department. For our red selection Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah, and for the white, Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve.

It's the start of a new year, and this month again we tap 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. We were looking for a red to go with a robust ragu or risotto and a white to go with a winter vegetable pasta combination

Linda suggested two we should take a closer look at, Barrel 27 2005 Syrah and Norman Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay Reserve. We were very familiar with Norman, a mainstay Paso Robles producer of fine Zinfandel, but Barrel 27 was a new find, and we were excited to try their 2005 Syrah.

Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah

©2009 The Romantic Table, Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah 2009-01-07 16:54:56:106
©2009 The Romantic Table

Barrel 27 2005 Appellation Central Coast Syrah

From the website: www.barrel27.com

"Barrel 27's newest release is out! Mac's and Russell's considerable winemaking talents combined with one of the best growing seasons ever on the Central Coast, have resulted in the best B27 Syrah yet. Yeah, yeah, we say that every year, but the wines just keep getting better and better! The 2005 exhibits a deep garnet-purple color, with seductive aromas of raspberry jam and crème de cassis, sweet cherry, black plum and blood orange fruit, with rose petal, anise/black licorice, vanilla and Asian spices adding layers of complexity. The mouth is round and dense, with a full mid-palate lifted by excellent acidity. The long finish begins with rich, red fruit and ends on a trailing spicy note that goes on and on. The best structured of Barrel 27's Syrahs yet, it will add weight and even more complexity over the next 2-3+ years and hold well after that ."


If you have been reading this website, you will will know that every since Gary Eberle introduced Syrah to Paso Robles in the 80's the California Central Coast is fast becoming a Syrah enclave - we love it!

Syrah is the great red wine from the Rhône region of France. There are a number of different styles of making Syrah wine from the region, but un-blended with other wines (such as Viognier) is the style of Hermitage in northern Rhône or Australian Shiraz. Syrah produces powerful wines, deep violet nearly black in color, substantial alcohol, almost "chewy" body and aromas which tend to be more spicy than fruity.

Our Observations:

In the glass the wine was a deep garnet red -almost black with magenta overtones. In strong light the wine was transparent and clean. Swirling the glass, the wine nicely coated the glass side with long slow running tears indicating the characteristic substantial body Syrah is noted for and we were looking for.

When sniffing the wine, we noticed immediately the distinct aromas of cherry and currant with an overtone spiciness of black pepper and thyme.

On the palette, the flavor continued to open up with a nice sense of vanilla and pepper. The taste was full, dry, smooth, good acidity and mild tannins. The Alcohol at 14.6% was substantial but very balanced and not harsh.

The finish was smooth and substantial, leaving a complex, warm and long echo of the wine in the mouth.

This is very food friendly red wine, perfectly at home with Mediterranean fare. With its cherry and spice aromas and mild tannins, this wine a great choice to accompany a robust roast duck or ragu with homemade spinach egg pasta such as our Duck Ragu - which just just happened to be on the menu that night!

Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve

©2009 The Romantic Table, Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve. 2009-01-07 16:56:03:107
©2009 The Romantic Table

Norman 2006 Edna Valley Chardonnay Reserve.

from the Website: normanvineyards.com

"(2007 vintage) -100% Chardonnay Appellation; Edna Valley 14.5% Alcohol, 100% Barrel-Fermented in 25% new French oak Sur-lie aged 6 months, 35% Malolactic Tasting Notes This superb wine has intense aromas of apricot, green apple and tangerine, with subtle notes of vanilla and toast. Full-bodied, it has peach and lemon flavors, crisp acidity and a creamy, glycerol finish. Serve lightly chilled with maui-maui in ginger-lime sauce or with a rich dessert such as lemon coconut cream torte. Enjoy now or cellar age until 2012. "


What can you say about California Chardonnay? With its red cousin Cabernet Sauvignon, it is one of the wines that put California on the map. While in the right hands it one of the great white wines, in careless hands it is also one of the most abused wines. In addition, it is also very sensitive to terroir so you never know what you are going to get.

Chardonnay is the classic white grape of the Burgundy region. It is also a dominate white grape planting in the Chablis and Champagne regions. It is a major component in Champagne and other sparkling wines. It produces a pale yellow rather delicate wine with its own unmistakable characteristic "chardonnay" aroma with aromas of citrus and apple.

Our Observations:

The appearance of the wine was the color or pale straw with a hint of green. The color was transparent, clean, and the wine sparkled in our glasses as we swirled the wine. The swirled wine coated the glass nicely with slow running tears, indicating some substantial-ness in the structure.

The wine had the characteristic chardonnay aroma with vanilla, citrusy-lime and apple overtones.

The taste of the wine was moderately dry, with a nice balanced acidity and an overall smoothness, The French oak Sur-lie aging gave just a hint of French oak with no harshness.. The alcohol, at 15% in this vintage, was surprisingly subdued and in balance with the rest of the flavors. The overall impression was of a full mouthful.

The finish was long and smooth, leaving a light lingering vanilla citrus aftertaste.

This is anther very food friendly wine. The citrus overtones with just the right amount of acidity will pair it well with a cream or Mornay sauce. This wine will pair very well with salmon in basal-cream sauce and cole-vegetable pastas like Golden Cauliflower with Pancetta and Penne.


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A tip from Sue!

Shake That Can!

When selecting a can of vegetables, fruit or stew-like contents, while holding the can in your hand and carefully rotating it back and forth, you can tell just HOW MUCH volume is made up of actual solids versus liquid (i.e buying a can of canned whole tomatoes in their juices). The less slippage back and forth, the higher the solid food-content versus liquid and a better bargain for the price!