"It's my favorite Bonny Doon wine." - Randall Grahm
The wine is clearly a Syrah, but rendered in a way that is startlingly unexpected and just totally fun.
$36.00 per bottle / $388.80 per case
$30.60 per bottle / $345.60 per case (Members)
One of the recurring themes at Bonny Doon Vineyard is the odd locus at which we always seem to find ourselves—the intersection of the terminally hip and the terminally unhip, and this is nowhere more vividly exemplified than in the 2011 Sparkling Syrah (not Shiraz!). At first blush, this is not an obvious wine for us. It’s so, y’know, Antipodean… And yet, can we not also make the same claim (of terminal hip/unhipness) for the denizens Doon Under themselves? You have to hand it to a group of blokes—it had to be a bloke who first dreamed this up—who turn a received wine style on its head, and, y’know, just messed with it, throwing out all notions of propriety. (I must confess to find this notion quite agreeable.) How does one think about a sparkling red wine? You begin by first fearing not the tannin—we picked a base wine that had wonderful natural acidity but relatively low tannin. And then you come to realize that CO2 or fizz as we know it, is a great amplifier of aroma, indeed of everything. You love the aromas of Syrah, right? Now, get ready to smell them REAL BIG.
You note the lurid deep, violaceous color. Don’t be afraid. It’s crushed velours with a tantalizing playful effervescence that you’ll soon be sipping. You get the typical quality of smoked meat that one often finds in cool climate Syrah, but not so sauvage; there are the more civilized elements of wintergreen and crushed blackberries that offer cool comfort. Clearly, the still red wine that you still remember has undergone some sort of magical transformation. Grapefruit? Cassis? Perhaps some unnamed tropical fruit with mysterious magical seeds, each one containing a yetto- be fulfilled magical wish. Wait, it’s Necco wafers, yes, spearmint Necco wafers, to be precise, with perhaps a hint of a refreshing sarsaparilla. Yes, there’s definitely a candied quality to this very elegant fizzy red wine—it’s candied violets (there is hardly anything more elegant in the world).
In the mouth, it’s just plain fun. You can’t help but smile. It’s like listening to your favorite piece of music transposed into another style. The wine is clearly a Syrah, but rendered in a way that is startlingly unexpected and just totally fun. Don’t stress out about what to serve with this. Undoubtedly, there is some extraordinary food combination that you or I will never figure out. But use it as you would a Syrah table wine; I think with a leg of lamb it would be brilliant. But perhaps also with a chocolate layer cake.
An important serving note: the Sparkling Syrah is quite effervescent, so please use caution and patience when opening!
Food Pairing Notes
Grilled pork sandwiches with radishes, carrots & chiles (Bánh mì), Sweet and spicy Missouri-style BBQ, roasted turkey leg, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue.