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Syrah

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2010
'Biodynamic" has become one of the great watchwords in naturalistic winemaking - especially in France, where this holistic precursor to organic agriculture is well-ensconced. Inspired by early 20th century Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, biodynamic farming often raises skeptical eyebrows with its attention to the zodiac and lunar cycles, draft horses (instead of tractors), and cow horns buried with manure to activate the soil. But it's hard to argue with the success of great French winemakers like Nicholas Joly, Domaine Leroy, and Chapoutier's Hermitage.
NEWS
November 8, 2013
B   uzz: Hey, Marnie, the guy on the bar stool next to me said Shiraz and Syrah are the same thing. I bet him $10 he's wrong. He can't be right, can he? Marnie: You're out 10 bucks, Buzz. The French Syrah grape goes by another name in most of the Southern Hemisphere: It's called Shiraz in Australia and South Africa. Buzz: Wine isn't confusing enough, huh? They have to mix up the names, too? Marnie: Many synonyms for grape names derive from different ways to spell the same word.
NEWS
August 12, 2007
Montes has become one of the top Chilean wineries to watch, with highly touted serious reds - big in flavor and price - like Folly syrah and M, a cabernet blend. With this wonderful rose called Cherub, however, Montes takes a lighter, more whimsical approach. A brilliant pink crush of syrah grapes, it has a playful balance of tartness and fruit - strawberries and citrus zest - that is vivid without a trace of sweetness. It's a quenchingly perfect picnic wine at a nice price, with a tipsy-angel label from artist Ralph Steadman that will also make you smile.
NEWS
July 26, 2013
IF YOU haven't wet your whistle with local wine, these three pours from Paris Wine Bar will make you a believer. * White: Dry vidal blanc, from Pinnacle Ridge, in Kutztown. Crisp and dry, with light floral aromas. If you like pinot grigio, try this! * Red: Syrah, from Manatawny Winery, in Douglassville. A food-friendly wine made from grapes grown in Berks County, this Syrah has notes of black pepper, spice and black fruit. * Pink: Prelude Rosé, from Allegro Winery, in Brogue, York County.
NEWS
April 25, 2016 | By Craig LaBan, Restaurant Critic
Rosé has become so popular the options have grown exponentially, from seemingly every corner of the world and in every shade of pink. The general trend, it seems, has moved toward deeper hues with more obviously sweet ripe fruit. E. Guigal's Côtes du Rhône 2015 vintage rosé is not that - which is exactly why I like it. This is the quenching, more food-friendly style that is classic to rosé's home in southern France - which I'd expect from Rhône's powerhouse winery-négociant.
NEWS
December 4, 2011
Ever heard of Bullas, Spain? I hadn't, and neither had the specialty bottle purchasing honchos at the P.L.C.B. before they were presented with this highly rated bottle of 3000 Años (93 points from the Wine Advocate), knocked down from $90 to $29.99. Unfamiliarity, I suspect, is at the heart of the discount. But as one might surmise from label and name, wine has been made for three millennia in this region of southeastern Spain near Murcia. As in its better-known wine-producing neighbor, Jumilla, monastrell is the principal grape.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
While the rest of the beverage industry is busy collaborating and cross-pollinating among genres (see the coffee-beer in last week's "Drink"), the usually staid wine world has largely remained aloof from the mash-up fray, pushing instead toward purity of terroir and "non-interventionist" ideals. It's no wonder Dan Phillips (formerly of Grateful Palate) has been quoted as saying he hopes his bourbon barrel-aged Southern Belle "offends every sommelier and Frenchman in the world. " Of course, he's using barrels from cult producer Pappy Van Winkle (good luck getting the actual bourbon!
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 25, 2016 | By Craig LaBan, Restaurant Critic
Rosé has become so popular the options have grown exponentially, from seemingly every corner of the world and in every shade of pink. The general trend, it seems, has moved toward deeper hues with more obviously sweet ripe fruit. E. Guigal's Côtes du Rhône 2015 vintage rosé is not that - which is exactly why I like it. This is the quenching, more food-friendly style that is classic to rosé's home in southern France - which I'd expect from Rhône's powerhouse winery-négociant.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
While the rest of the beverage industry is busy collaborating and cross-pollinating among genres (see the coffee-beer in last week's "Drink"), the usually staid wine world has largely remained aloof from the mash-up fray, pushing instead toward purity of terroir and "non-interventionist" ideals. It's no wonder Dan Phillips (formerly of Grateful Palate) has been quoted as saying he hopes his bourbon barrel-aged Southern Belle "offends every sommelier and Frenchman in the world. " Of course, he's using barrels from cult producer Pappy Van Winkle (good luck getting the actual bourbon!
NEWS
November 8, 2013
B   uzz: Hey, Marnie, the guy on the bar stool next to me said Shiraz and Syrah are the same thing. I bet him $10 he's wrong. He can't be right, can he? Marnie: You're out 10 bucks, Buzz. The French Syrah grape goes by another name in most of the Southern Hemisphere: It's called Shiraz in Australia and South Africa. Buzz: Wine isn't confusing enough, huh? They have to mix up the names, too? Marnie: Many synonyms for grape names derive from different ways to spell the same word.
NEWS
July 26, 2013
IF YOU haven't wet your whistle with local wine, these three pours from Paris Wine Bar will make you a believer. * White: Dry vidal blanc, from Pinnacle Ridge, in Kutztown. Crisp and dry, with light floral aromas. If you like pinot grigio, try this! * Red: Syrah, from Manatawny Winery, in Douglassville. A food-friendly wine made from grapes grown in Berks County, this Syrah has notes of black pepper, spice and black fruit. * Pink: Prelude Rosé, from Allegro Winery, in Brogue, York County.
NEWS
January 13, 2013
America's destiny for the Rhône's famous red grape will ultimately be crafting wines that land between the earthy French version known as "syrah" and the luscious Aussie fruit bomb dubbed "shiraz. " The perfect compromise should probably be called "sy-raz," although I'm sure the great winemakers of Washington State would object. They stick with the classic label of syrah, and since these tend to be my favorite domestic renditions, they've earned the right. Even so, a great bottle like this 2006 Cougar Crest Reserve from Walla Walla, steeply discounted in Pennsylvania issue from $55 to $24.99, shows its true hybrid personality in the glass - in the very best way. The fruit is New World ripe, brooding, figgy, round, and deep.
NEWS
December 4, 2011
Ever heard of Bullas, Spain? I hadn't, and neither had the specialty bottle purchasing honchos at the P.L.C.B. before they were presented with this highly rated bottle of 3000 Años (93 points from the Wine Advocate), knocked down from $90 to $29.99. Unfamiliarity, I suspect, is at the heart of the discount. But as one might surmise from label and name, wine has been made for three millennia in this region of southeastern Spain near Murcia. As in its better-known wine-producing neighbor, Jumilla, monastrell is the principal grape.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2010
'Biodynamic" has become one of the great watchwords in naturalistic winemaking - especially in France, where this holistic precursor to organic agriculture is well-ensconced. Inspired by early 20th century Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, biodynamic farming often raises skeptical eyebrows with its attention to the zodiac and lunar cycles, draft horses (instead of tractors), and cow horns buried with manure to activate the soil. But it's hard to argue with the success of great French winemakers like Nicholas Joly, Domaine Leroy, and Chapoutier's Hermitage.
FOOD
November 19, 2009 | By Craig LaBan INQUIRER RESTAURANT CRITIC
All the pressure should land on the chef at Thanksgiving, because when it comes to bringing the wine, there are no "wrong" answers. After all, this holiday meal is typically such a riot of divergent flavors, from tart cranberries to sweet potatoes to the meaty bird and its lusty dressing, that it's impossible for a single wine to match the feast's many moods. Even better news: this is a meal where value wines are the preferable choice. The sheer diversity and intensity of the table's flavors will inevitably drown the grandest of grand cru bottles.
FOOD
November 19, 2009 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
All the pressure should land on the chef at Thanksgiving, because when it comes to bringing the wine, there are no "wrong" answers. After all, this holiday meal is typically such a riot of divergent flavors, from tart cranberries to sweet potatoes to the meaty bird and its lusty dressing, that it's impossible for a single wine to match the feast's many moods. Even better news: this is a meal where value wines are the preferable choice. The sheer diversity and intensity of the table's flavors will inevitably drown the grandest of grand cru bottles.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2009
Of all the southern French grapes now spreading their Rhône gusto throughout the vineyards of the New World, syrah has no doubt garnered the star's share of attention - especially in its Aussie persona as shiraz, but also with increasing success in the Pacific Northwest. In its original and most noble state, though, syrah is just one of many grapes that go into the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And among them, grenache is at least as important as syrah. As winemaker Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel once told me, grenache is the bright fruit "flesh" to the earthy dark juice and tannin "bones" of syrah (as well as mourvèdre)
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