This entry has been a saved draft for a couple weeks, and now I’m finishing and posting it.
At our anniversary dinner we ordered a bottle of a sentimental favorite, a 2004 Shiraz bottled by Niebaum Estate (formerly the Coppola-Niebaum Estate Winery). Normally I’m suspicious about celebrities getting into fields like wine-making and whatnot (cough cough Greg Norman cough cough), but hey, it’s Francis Ford Coppola. I think the man behind the Godfather trilogy might know a thing or two. Well, actually, I can tell you he does.
This wine is sooo good, and not just because it carried fond memories for me (but it does have grapes from good ol Monterey County, to add to my personal attachment factor). I think this is an ideal Syrah-Shiraz because it is precisely balanced in the realms of peppery kick and tangy berryness. It’s very drinkable, and pairs well with a good range of dishes. I had it with a New York steak drizzled with a sweet bourbon sauce, and the dish included sides of garlic mashers, asparagus, and onion rings. But the Niebaum website also suggests fun pairings like “Pork loin with plum compote, Linguine with sausage and mushrooms, and Potato cheese gratin.” So you see, it’s a really flexible wine… and it’s been my experience that an imprecisely balanced Shiraz isn’t always so flexible because it often falls too heavy on the pepper.
So it was very good at dinner. We didn’t quite finish it in one sitting, so we took the bottle home. I was sick for a couple days (unrelated to the dining experience), so it was 3 days later I think when we had a glass each to finish off the bottle. It was definitely more fruity. Still had the trademark pepperiness, but the raspberryishness lingered in the mouth forever; a great wine for watching TV (or playing a board game) to. So, this wine is quite different a couple days down the road (4 days is probably about the maximum I want wine to sit around after being opened), but it’s still a great glass.
Do yourself a favor, go find a bottle of this Shiraz; you won’t be sorry. If nothing else, go somewhere that you can try a glass, and then you’ll be convinced.