Close-up Montemaggiore Syrafina wine label

Montemaggiore Syrafina 2011

  • ABV:: 13.6%
  • MADE FROM:: Syrah, Viognier
  • HAiLS FROM:: Dry Creek Valley AVA, California
: montemaggiore-syrafina
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ABOUT: Located at 750 feet above Dry Creek Valley towards the end of a curvy, single lane road sits the low yielding, biodynamic vineyards Montemaggiore. In the vineyard is Vince, and in the winery is his wife Lise, making the wine. They have a beautiful, well-drained hillside of vines, and when I say well-drained, I mean like Portugal, where the vines have to dig really deep into schist to get what they need. The results are beautiful, finely-tuned grapes. For them, Syrah is the grape to focus on, and I couldn't agree more; the wines are complex and full of character.

TASTE: Classic Northern Rhone blend, predominately Syrah with 3-4% Viognier which trims a little bit of the corners of the Syrah. Adds a nice floral, feminine quality, effectively softening the brash, herby Syrah, but just a little. This wine demonstrates Lise's ability to find balance - this is very well balanced and is my favorite among their lineup. Another with tremendous ageing potential. Opening this bottle when it's 15 would be a real treat.

PAIR:Spinach and white bean Pecorino soup, wild mushroom gyoza, garlic and sesame glazed tofu, and a garden burger topped with blue cheese and onion rings.