It’s Nine A.M. and I’m sitting in front of my trusty computer. Yes, I still use a computer versus a tablet or phone. Part of that being I can actually read the text on the screen.
For what it’s worth, I have had my breakfast and copious amounts of coffee. Watched the news, talk about starting your day with nothing but negativity, and have already set about bringing myself up-to-date with some of what the wine world holds for me today. Now the wine world can have its share of negative press; fake wine, terrible weather, your favorite winery being gobbled up by some huge conglomerate, but even with all of that, I can find that ray of hope, that silver lining. I only need to journey back in time (yes, I have perfected time travel) to last night to contemplate the wonderful wine I had to go with my Beef Short Rib Ragu.
This is where you oh and ah about my fabulous writing skills. If that’s too much, how about a nice head nod?
I love Short Ribs and favor a wine with a little more to it, tannin and earthiness being a big part. Most of the time I look for a good French Rhone wine or a nice wine from the fabled “Rhone Rangers” from California. For any newbies out there, Rhone Rangers are winemakers that fashion their wines after their French counterparts, especially those from the Rhone Valley; Côtes du Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape to name a couple. Grenache and Syrah making up the majority of those wines along with a healthy dose of oak materialize into just such a wine as I’m looking for. For those too young, Rhone Ranger is a pun on the TV show The Lone Ranger that aired 1949 to 1957.
During the commercial breaks of TMZ Live (don’t EVEN go there) I search my wines to find what will make an already fantastic meal (I do favor myself as a pretty good chef as well) even better. While I have no shortage of very nice Rhone wines, I felt something a little more domesticated (fruitier) would work better given my use of a small amount of Bar-B-Que sauce in the recipe. That’s when I spotted a relatively new addition to my cellar. A wine from a very familiar winery but a wine that I had yet to ever see before. You’re asking “How could I have never seen this wine before if it’s in my cellar?” Right?
Good question. Someone gave it to me!
Neyers Vineyards Sage Canyon Red 2015
Neyers is a name well known to myself. I even did a review on one of their other wines, their “Left Bank Red.” With a strong influence by French wines and wine making, Neyers produces a consistent quality of fine wines using some grapes that show a marked French influence. From their properties, this wine is a blend of 45% Carignan (vines are 140 years old), 25% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah, coming from four distinct areas but named for their Sage Canyon property purchased in 1999.
Here’s something from the winery describing their production methods, I even had to reread it to make sure I saw what I saw:
“The wine is a blend of four wines, each produced using the traditional Rhône process of ‘Pigeage’ where all of the grapes are crushed by foot, not by machine. Each wine ferments separately, and when complete we drain and press the tank, rack the new wine to used 60-gallon French oak barrels, then let the wine age on the lees for a year before blending. We then bottle, unfined and unfiltered.”
I’m sure they were wearing some sort of sanitized footwear, but! If I notice any strange flavor in the wine, I’m going to pour it out.
Since I’m continuing to write this, you can rest assure that I found no such flavor. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the wine. Upon opening the wine the sense of dark red fruit tingled my nostrils. That’s almost always a good sign, but still, we need confirmation by palate (CBP, that’s another unique acronym, I’ll have to keep in the back of my head – that’s where I hide my bald spot as well).
My traditional SSSS (have you been reading my posts? If you do, you’ll know what that’s an acronym for. For you others, I’ll note it at the bottom of this post). Very nice wine and right in line with what I not only expected but desired. Starting with a dark red fruit character with that earthiness or minerality and finishing with a slight pepper note. The wine brings me to that interesting style of Rhone wine that I love and, as dinner began, went so well with my Beef Short Ribs.
For around $20 or so, I found this to be a delightful wine and able to keep up with slightly more robust dinner plans. I don’t see it everywhere, but being distributed thru Southern Glazer’s Wine, it should be readily available for ordering. Click here for the tech sheet.
(*SSSS – Swirl, Smell, Sip, Swallow)