Chateau Sixtine Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
The 2010 Chateau Sixtine Chateauneuf du Pape performed exquisitely and, again, was one of the top wines of the vintage. With better integration of the new oak than I have previously seen from Jean-Marc Diffonty, this wine's opaque ruby/purple color possesses lots of licorice, asphalt, graphite, blackberry and kirsch notes as well as hints of lavender, forest floor and garrigue. This opulent, full-bodied effort is approachable, but it will not hit its full stride for another 2-4 years. It should drink well for 15-20 years thereafter.
A dark, brawny style, with roasted apple wood and dark espresso framing the currant paste, blackberry pâte de fruit, melted black licorice and bittersweet cocoa notes. There's lots of muscle on the finish, but also lovely flickers of violet and pastis for nuance. Needs time to unwind fully. Best from 2015 through 2030.
Opaque purple. Heady aromas of cherry-cola, blueberry, potpourri and sandalwood, with a spicy overtone. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and pick up notes of candied lavender and white pepper with air. Ripe and lively, finishing with outstanding energy, harmonious tannins and lingering sweetness.
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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture...
Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.
In the Glass
At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.
Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.