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Narsai David: Reviewing Two Sonoma Wines

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A look at two wines from Sonoma County – one a Syrah and the other a Pinot Noir.

The first wine is a 2009 Syrah from Trione Vineyards and Winery in Geyserville. The Syrah is made with many of the small-batch techniques used with Pinot Noir fermentation in small, open-top tanks with a portion of whole berries, hand plunging the cap four times daily for maximum flavor and color extraction. The whole berries contributed deep blackberry fruit character and complexity to the wine.

It has a deep rich, lush color with an openly rich bouquet. A rush of ripe berries or maybe even berry pie are the dominant aromas and the Syrah is rich, velvety and complex. Intense and well structured, the wine will age well and develop additional complexity as it ages.

The wine would work well with a roast rib of beef or even a grilled steak. At 15.3 percent alcohol, the wine is reasonably priced at $32.

The second wine is a 2011 Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards Winery in Sebastopol. 2011 was a very tough vintage in Northern California, as a bad, late, wet spring led to a short season before the weather turned. But some elegant, light wines were produced in the Pinot Noir category. This vintage from Merry Edwards comes from a blend of different estate vineyards on the property. At 14.2 percent alcohol, it has a fine, distinctive blueberry nose that follows right onto the palate.

The wine has a vibrant aroma that melds intense fruit with savory characteristics, such as cherry, blackberry, boysenberry and cola. It’s substantial structure also supports a generous amount of new oak, adding white pepper, toasty cinnamon and vanilla to its many layers.

Priced at $39, this makes for a light and beautifully balanced wine.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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