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Style Magazine

The Vine

Nov 23, 2009 10:11AM ● By Wendy Sipple

photos by John Stricker & Aaron Roseli

2006 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah

I can’t imagine the holidays without my favorite prime rib roast and all the fixins. The herbs like cloves, cinnamon, pepper, bay, and a plethora of others can be difficult to pair with wines. What can hold up to all that? You might traditionally think about the good ole’ California Cab. But I want you to think Syrah this year. You can get an awesome Syrah for significantly less than a comparable California Cab. The flavor profile for a typical Syrah is rich with herbs, peppercorn, red fruit, and spice; perfect for the holiday table.

I’ve got a special one for you that is one of my favorites. It’s the 2006 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah. Say that 10 times fast. This South African coastal syrah comes from a vineyard started in 1776 by French settlers recognizing the ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. This 93-point Wine Spectator winner has all the makings of a great holiday wine. It is big and brawny with deeply ruby red color. The flavors of coffee, black and blue fruit and just a bit of smokiness for good measure are astonishingly good. The perfume of violets with the sage and tobacco aromas is fantastic and combines to ad depth of flavor to this highly rated wine. This earthy Syrah is nice now but will age beautifully for the next couple of years.

Julie Moreland
Julie is the owner and Wine Psychic of Un-cork’d.

Deseado De Familia Schroeder Sparkling Torrontés

The grape variety Torrontés is truly unique because it is completely Argentinian. Argentina is the only country to produce a wine from it.  Originally thought to have been brought from northern Spain, recent DNA testing has revealed that Torrontés is most likely a hybrid that occurred a long time ago from two grapes: Muscat of Alexandria and what we call the Mission grape in California. Torrontés is widely planted in Argentina because of its popularity.

Deseado De Familia Schroeder Sparkling Torrontés is a wonderful new offering. This 10-percent-alcohol sparkling wine from Patagonia, Argentina is very elegant and perfect for entertaining. It has a wonderful citrus and floral nose, very small bubbles, pleasant sweet mouth feel, good acidity and excellent body.

A very nice addition to a weekend brunch, as an aperitif, and perfect to serve with appetizers, the Sparkling Torrontés is a perfect substitute for those wanting a fruity sparkler in place of champagne.

—Rick Mindermann
Rick is a 30-year veteran grocer with Corti Brothers in Sacramento,
personal assistant to Darrell Corti, and “The Good Taste Guy” for