Syrah is a grape variety you do not find a great deal of here in Virginia. The handful of local examples I've tasted have been light, typifying a Northern Rhone everyday drinking style. For those of you most familiar with the Australian style of full, rich, ripe and intense fruit, this will be a different experience for you, but one definitely worth seeking out.
Syrah is a diverse wine grape depending on where it is grown. It is capable of producing, light everyday quaffing wines, to full bodied fruit bombs, to complex, dense, dark and tannic, age worthy examples. Standard Syrah aromas include, but are not limited to, dark cherry, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant, black pepper, tar and spice with similar flavor characteristics. Let’s take a look at the Keswick Vineyards 2004 Syrah and see what we can find in it.
Review: The Keswick Vineyards Syrah 2004 is clear garnet in color with subtle blackberry and dark cherry aromas with hints of pepper and oak. The aromas follow through on the palate with slightly earthy and soft toasty flavors. This wine is nicely balanced, with velvety tannins and a medium finish. Overall, a pleasant wine, but quiet and reserved, with enough aroma and flavor characteristics to be interestingly engaging. A nice aperitif wine, or consider pairing with light cheeses.
The wine retails for $29.95 and was released as a limited production wine. Based on price and quality level, the wine is well worth seeking out to discover what Syrah can do in the Commonwealth. On the flip side of that coin, if you are thinking globally some very nice examples can be found for great values out of France, Australia, California, Washington State, and a surging South Africa.
I’m uncertain of the availability of this wine, but Keswick Vineyards will release a 2006 Syrah in the near future. This wine will have a splash of Viognier added and suited to a more light, fresh and fruity style. The afforementioned 2004 bottling is 100% Syrah grape.
For readers who have not visited Keswick Vineyards, it is just east of Charlottesville and situated amongst beautiful rolling hills, horse farms and manicured greens – definitely an ideal place to visit when spring decides to find Virginia. Let's hope that is soon friends we we can all enjoy spring time at a Virginia Winery!
Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !