Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2004
Dark, glass-staining purple. Expansive, floral bouquet of boysenberry, candied plum, blueberry jam and kirsch, with sexy oak spices and vanilla accentuating the impression of sweetness. A gorgeous expression of bright dark berry flavors, complicated by deft notes of cinnamon, cigar box and star anise. This shows impressive power but also an overall sense of elegance and finesse, especially on the juicy, long finish. An amazing wine, with jaw-dropping concentration and clarity.
This is sexy stuff that proprietor Roman Bratasiuk says is “more Côte-Rôtie” than his other Syrahs. Its perfumed nose offers up hints of violets and cracked pepper to go along with raspberry fruit, while it’s supple in the mouth—almost too easy—with pretty mixed berry flavors and a nib of bitter chocolate. Long and elegant on the finish. Drink now–2015.
The 2004 Syrah Liandra was fashioned from 100-year-old vines grown in clay and sandy soils. Its inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, blackberries, tar, and hints of smoke and bay leaves. Full-bodied, opulent, and rich with low acidity as well as sweet tannin, it can be drunk young or cellared for 10-15+ years.
Polished, generous and aristocratic, with currant and boysenberry flavors strongly shaded with mint and eucalyptus overtones, gliding smoothly into the long, open-textured finish. Best from 2010 through 2020. 500 cases imported.
The aromas are intriguing, as if you'd just opened a jar of exotic fruit jam from the outback. Then the palate is syrupy, a juicy mass of fascinating flavor. You have to like thick wines, but if you do, Liandra is worth seeking out.
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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character...
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.
In the Glass
From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.
The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.