Red Earth


Domaine de la Terre Rouge
Syrah “Les Côtes de L’Ouest”
14.5% ABV | Price: about $21.50

Despite having been harvested four years ago, this California Syrah reads like a young wine. It’s brilliant purple and a little foamy in the glass. It has some nice funk on the nose, very earthy and spicy (and consequently very promising), and it’s full and a bit smoky on the palate—plummy with nice acidity. But it loses steam in the middle and finishes hot.

I wonder what this wine might have been like had it been picked at a slightly lower sugar level, so that the alcohol was held back a bit, and that funky, soulful, maybe soilful site expression could take center stage. I’m also wondering whether the 2010 vintage—for some California winemakers the most challenging in a long while—might yield a slightly more restrained, complex wine from this Lodi sub-appellation.

I’d say Cheers to that.



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