Ravenswood Sonoma County Syrah, California, 2005
WHAT: While Ravenswood made its name with outstanding zinfandel, they have evolved to include many varietals. This Syrah is blended with Grenache, Carignane and Viognier to produce a classic Rhone-style wine. The deep reddish-purple color leads to floral scents mixed with smoky, jammy, black cherry aromas. The spicy, complex flavor ends with a hint of oak that lingers on the finish. It has enough structure to last several years in the cellar.
THE WINERY: This is a great example of Ravenswood's County series of wines, which are crafted from individual sites in the county on the label. After aging for 20-24 months in French oak, the wines are blended to produce an expression of regional terroir. That is, they reflect the special characteristics of the region in which they are grown. The individual wines in the blend often are as good as more expensive wines, but because there isn't enough for a separate vineyard-designated wine, they go into the cheaper blend.
GOES WITH: Steak, ribs, veal, hearty minestrone, We had it with grilled chicken and the smoky barbecue flavor perfectly accented the smoky characteristics of the wine.
REACH DENNIS SODOMKA AT DSODOMKA@KNOLOGY.NET. READ HIS COLUMN PLANNING A WINE TASTING PARTY IN THE FEBRUARY ISSUE OF AUGUSTA MAGAZINE.
Friday wine fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
First Friday Tasting at Wine World, six wines, cheese sampling, 5-8 p.m.
Saturday wine fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 1-6 p.m.
Wine tasting and Valentine celebration at Ninth Street Wine Market, special Valentine bottles and door prizes, 5:30-7:30; $10
Tasters Guild dinner at Old Edgefield Grill, five courses, six wines, $68 members, $74 non-members; reservations required, through Wine World, (803) 279-9522
Wine tasting at The Snug Steak & Grill, 240 Davis Road, 6-8 p.m., $20; Toast Wine and Beverage will host, featuring syrah and shiraz from around the world, as well as a blind tasting of white wines, and chocolates; reservations with The Snug by Monday, (706) 863-1118
Educational wine tasting at the Bee's Knee's, combining food with value-priced wines, 5:30 p.m., $15
In-shop beer tasting at Wine World, featuring 13 beers and various cheeses; casual drop-in, 5-8 p.m.
Valentine Wine Dinner at the Marriott, reservations through Ninth Street Wine Market, (706) 724-1442
Wine Tasting at the Bistro with wine maker of Carabella wines from Oregon, reservations through Ninth Street Wine Market
In-shop wine tasting at Wine World with six wines and cheeses, 5-8 p.m.