February 7, 2007

2002 Jade Mountain Syrah, Napa Valley, California

The year is 1991. You have the chance to buy some vineyard property. You look, you hunt, and you wait patiently for just the right opportunity to become available. Your perseverance pays off and 42 acres of PRIME vineyard land on Mt. Veeder, vineyards that produce especially excellent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for several reserve wines, hits the market. You are Jim Paras, a San Francisco attorney with a passion for wine that runs very, very deep. You buy the 42 acres on Mt. Veeder and what do you do next? Do you get into the Cabernet Sauvignon business?


You rip out all of the vines on the property and replant Syrah. The actions of a man who has gone insane. Or, perhaps, we are the ones who are insane.

Jim Paras had a vision and he wanted to make top notch Syrah. He joined forces with Doug Danielak, a known Syrah master who had trained in the crucible of the Rhone Valley. You see, they both knew that the land Jim had purchased on Mt. Veeder, with its cool temps and soil type was primo Syrah growing territory, and anybody can grow good Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. They executed their plan with extreme prejudice.

Cat and I had not had any wines from Jade Mountain before, but given our lucky streak with New World Syrahs, and given that today is Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) and the theme of the day is "New World Syrah" we concluded it is a great time to review this wine. I submitted our review of the Chilean Montes Alpha Syrah to WBW being hosted at Winecast, a wine blog worth checking out.

This wine, blended with 3% Viognier, was very nice. We decanted for one hour prior to tasting. When we poured our glasses we found the nose full of lilac and blackberry. We loved the lilac. There were hints of smokiness, and even some rosemary. Initially, there was an odd scent to the nose... almost like green olives, I think, but it dissipated quickly. The palate was incredibly well balanced and tasted of more blackberry with dark chocolate and earthiness. The flavors were round and full, and the finish was long. Tannin was present, but not sharp and was softened the longer it was in the glass. This wine made me want to eat roasted duck, it would have paired really, really well.

cost - $27.99 on sale from $29.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 8.5

No comments: