I opened another bottle from Cline last night. My stock of everyday wines has gotten low, so I’m raiding my nicer bottles. I have four vintages of this wine in my cellar. It was a stand-out for me on my last visit to the winery a few years back and I’ve been saving my club shipments of this wine ever since. I thought maybe I’d arrange a vertical tasting or something. But I wanted a nice bottle to go with my wife’s awesome eggplant parmesan, so I picked the current vintage (the 2006), saving the others for that hypothetical vertical and assuming I could replace the 2006 more easily.
So how was it? Let’s see…
Producer: Cline Cellars
Grapes: 100% Syrah
Appellation: Carneros (AVA, California) – from the Sonoma side of this AVA, which straddles the southern ends of the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley AVAs.
Aging: 12 months in French oak (30% new) with dark toast
My tasting notes: Near opaque color, with a muddy garnet at the rim. On the nose, I get plenty of vanilla oakiness and an interesting pine aroma that reminds me of Christmas. There is some red fruit, but it does not smell highly extracted, which is promising. In the mouth, it’s lovely. Plummy fruit with mineral and leather notes accented with very appealing oak. It has great weight and mouthfeel, smooth but with a bit of tannic grip. And it carries the alcohol much more gracefully than the Bridgehead Zin from last night. Really delicious stuff.
Assessment/score: I really like this. I’ve had a few vintages now and it has always impressed me. Highly recommended. A-
Free association: Not sure why exactly. Sleek but comfortable. Elegant. Smooth wood.