Yesterday whilst sitting in the waiting room of my Acupuncturist, I received a phone call from Bernard Stramwasser of Le Sommelier. He was at our Church Street location with a selection of five wines crafted by cult Winemaker Heidi Barrett, all lined up and ready for me to taste… the problem was that I wasn’t actually there for our meeting. In a complete disaster of the Jamie Drummond Planning Department, I had somehow managed to switch my days around and decided that I was meeting up with Bernard for this special tasting the following day. Many apologies followed and Bernard was kind enough to forgive my tardiness and drop by later that evening with the wines in tow. I am so glad that he did as they were pretty damn special.
2007 La Sirena Moscato Azul (Muscat Cannelli) Calistoga Napa Valley California $54.20 per bottle
What a lovely surprise, a delightful dry Muscat from Napa. A lighter-bodied style with pronounced floral notes. Pretty expensive for a white wine these days, and a Muscat at that, but nevertheless an incredibly well crafted wine.
2004 La Sirena Syrah Eastern Hills Napa Valley California $145.71 per bottle
Another serious wine from La Sirena. Deep purple with loads of attractive black cherry and spice aromatics. A good wine, but I felt it showed poorly alongside the PharaohMoans Syrah.
2006 PharaohMoans Syrah (4% Grenache) Paso Robles California $238.50 per bottle
Despite the ropey pun of a name, this was my favourite wine of the tasting. Markedly different from the Sirena Napa Syrah, one can see the true terroir of Paso Robles coming through here. Brooding, intense and dark with nuances of coffee, star anise alongside powerfully ripe black fruits. There is also a very seductive smokiness on the nose that I was particularly drawn to. This wine is still a bit of a baby, needs a few years to truly come into its own. A simply stellar wine and very much my style when it comes to Californian Syrah.
2006 Amuse Bouche (94% Merlot/6% Cab Franc) Napa Valley California $494.50 per bottle
Modelled after the great wines of Bordeaux’s right bank, I can see some correlations betwixt this and Petrus, Le Pin et al, although the inherent Napa ripeness shines through and gives away the wine’s origins. The enticing plummy Merlot aromas follow through onto the palate. The wine is beautifully structured and layered, with some assertive tannins hiding around the core of what is truly an exceptional Californian wine.
2005 Revana Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Napa Valley California $244.50 per bottle
One little sniff of this and it was so obviously Napa Cabernet. Saying that, it was an incredibly open wine considering it was from 2005. Classic cassis and cedar aromas abound, but there is so much more in the glass, it’s a bloody complex beast this one. Firm tannins give the wine sufficient bones for all that fruity meat. Delicious, concentrated black fruity meat…