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FOOD
January 26, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
Syrah doesn't exactly leap to mind when thinking about Oregon reds. But here's a wonderful example from the tiny Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden in Applegate Valley (that's in southern Oregon). One sip and I was ready to buy a case. Why? Because it's tremendously food-friendly, not overly extracted, a Syrah that's graceful and poised, bright with flavors of cherry and cassis and sporting a snazzy bit of acidity. I don't know what it is about the valley where the grapes are grown, but this wine is reminiscent of Syrah from the northern Rhone.
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BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
The gig: Gabriel Weiss is a winemaker with a distinct specialty, kosher wine. He owns the Shirah Wine Co. in Santa Barbara County with brother Shimon Weiss, who handles the business side. Kosher wine can't contain ingredients from animals that aren't kosher - that is, not killed according to Jewish law. In addition, the making and handling of the wine has to be conducted by Jews who observe the Sabbath, the kosher dietary laws and follow other Jewish observances. Cracking the biz: Gabriel Weiss wanted to move from New Jersey to Southern California to use previous training in industrial design to crack into the entertainment business.
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FOOD
August 4, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
I've been drinking Qupé Syrah for years but never knew until now that (1) Qupé is pronounced "kyoo-PAY" (I'd thought it was koo-PAY all this time) and (2) it's the Chumash Indian word for California poppy. Turns out winemaker Bob Lindquist has a poetic streak. The 2009 Qupé Syrah from the Bien Nacido vineyard is a stunner. Lindquist has been working with the famed vineyard for more than 25 years and gets the best from the grapes. This Syrah has everything going for it: beautiful fruit, elegance and impressive balance.
FOOD
June 22, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times
The stunning Côtes du Rhône "Petit Ours Brun" (little brown bear) tastes like a youthful Cornas. The grapes come from a parcel that winemaker Matthieu Barret calls "no man's land"; it lies just between the official boundaries of Cornas and St. Joseph. The wine is 100% Syrah from 40-year-old, low-yielding vines. Oh, and it's also certified biodynamic. The taste is cool fruit, earth, bruised blackberries and that indefinable wild quality that makes Syrah from this part of the Rhone pure magic.
FOOD
June 22, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times
The stunning Côtes du Rhône "Petit Ours Brun" (little brown bear) tastes like a youthful Cornas. The grapes come from a parcel that winemaker Matthieu Barret calls "no man's land"; it lies just between the official boundaries of Cornas and St. Joseph. The wine is 100% Syrah from 40-year-old, low-yielding vines. Oh, and it's also certified biodynamic. The taste is cool fruit, earth, bruised blackberries and that indefinable wild quality that makes Syrah from this part of the Rhone pure magic.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
The gig: Gabriel Weiss is a winemaker with a distinct specialty, kosher wine. He owns the Shirah Wine Co. in Santa Barbara County with brother Shimon Weiss, who handles the business side. Kosher wine can't contain ingredients from animals that aren't kosher - that is, not killed according to Jewish law. In addition, the making and handling of the wine has to be conducted by Jews who observe the Sabbath, the kosher dietary laws and follow other Jewish observances. Cracking the biz: Gabriel Weiss wanted to move from New Jersey to Southern California to use previous training in industrial design to crack into the entertainment business.
FOOD
April 25, 2001 | S. IRENE VIRBILA
The wines of St. Joseph are as different from those of its neighbor Cornas on the western bank of the Rhone River as they could possibly be. They're both made from Syrah, but where Cornas is inky and often impenetrable with tannin, Saint-Joseph is sunlight and grace. The 1998 vintage from Cave de Chante-Perdrix is a gorgeous squirt of Syrah juice with smoky, understated fruit. You can almost smell the heat of the vineyard and taste the small, wild red berries that grow on the hillsides.
NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Dana Farner has been beverage director of Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse Cut Beverly Hills for the past seven years. She came from the Blue Water Grill in New York, but by now, she's a real Californian. Our own Jonathan Gold has called her "the indie-rock goddess sommelier. " You can't aspire much higher than that.  I've always found her a warm, knowledgeable presence on the floor, not given to wine cant and without a whiff of pomposity. Her list of 400 wine selections isn't static.
FOOD
June 2, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
  It's a fine time for rosé, and where better to find one than from the French Mediterranean. A perfect summer wine, Domaine Ferrer Ribière "F" Rosé from the Côtes Catalanes, is primarily Grenache with some Syrah in the blend. It's pale pink and tastes of rose petals and wild herbs. A fine rosé at a modest price. Region: Languedoc-Roussillon Price: About $11 Style: Dry and aromatic What it goes with: Omelets, vegetable or fish soups, shrimp with garlic, grilled fish Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323)
NEWS
May 25, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
At 34, Seth Cripe has spent more years around wine than you'd think. The owner-winemaker of LOLA Wines , which he founded in 2008, moved to Napa Valley right after he dropped out of high school. He said that although he wouldn't recommend that exact career path, he was so fortunate to work for Swanson and Caymus . His stint at Caymus Vineyards lasted a dozen years, and in the end, he was running the vineyards there. When Caymus was developing its Belle Glos project, he, as the only available young and single person, was sent off to France for four or five months a year to learn what he could.
NEWS
May 25, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
At 34, Seth Cripe has spent more years around wine than you'd think. The owner-winemaker of LOLA Wines , which he founded in 2008, moved to Napa Valley right after he dropped out of high school. He said that although he wouldn't recommend that exact career path, he was so fortunate to work for Swanson and Caymus . His stint at Caymus Vineyards lasted a dozen years, and in the end, he was running the vineyards there. When Caymus was developing its Belle Glos project, he, as the only available young and single person, was sent off to France for four or five months a year to learn what he could.
FOOD
April 20, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
I opened this bottle, poured out a glass of the deep garnet Syrah and got a whiff of sun-baked hillside, dark berries and wild herbs. The taste is redolent of spice and blackberries, smoke and something brambly and wild. A close but less glamorous cousin of Hermitage, the 2009 Crozes Hermitage "Les Jalets" from Jaboulet is made from 25-year-old vines. The grapes come mostly from "Les Jalets" vineyard, named after the old French word for the pebbles left by Alpine glaciers. FOR THE RECORD: Wine of the Week: In the April 20 Saturday section, the Wine of the Week review of the 2009 Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage "Les Jalets" gave an incorrect phone number for Monopole Wine in Pasadena.
NEWS
April 5, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Wine consultant Chris Keller is responsible for the wine lists at Joe's Restaurant  in Venice, and Bar Pintxo and Tar & Roses in Santa Monica. But he also makes his own wine near Santa Maria and sells that at the restaurants (and others) too. The wines he makes under his “ emanuel tres ” label are influenced by Catalonia and, as he puts it, have an accent on freshness. They include a Blanco (Grenache Blanc) and a Tinto (a young Tempranillo). And he also makes a Rosado or rosé, because, he says, “I want to have a wine to drink at the Hollywood Bowl!
NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Dana Farner has been beverage director of Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse Cut Beverly Hills for the past seven years. She came from the Blue Water Grill in New York, but by now, she's a real Californian. Our own Jonathan Gold has called her "the indie-rock goddess sommelier. " You can't aspire much higher than that.  I've always found her a warm, knowledgeable presence on the floor, not given to wine cant and without a whiff of pomposity. Her list of 400 wine selections isn't static.
FOOD
January 26, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
Syrah doesn't exactly leap to mind when thinking about Oregon reds. But here's a wonderful example from the tiny Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden in Applegate Valley (that's in southern Oregon). One sip and I was ready to buy a case. Why? Because it's tremendously food-friendly, not overly extracted, a Syrah that's graceful and poised, bright with flavors of cherry and cassis and sporting a snazzy bit of acidity. I don't know what it is about the valley where the grapes are grown, but this wine is reminiscent of Syrah from the northern Rhone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2013 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
A group of friends gathered in Roman Weiser's Newhall garage one September day in 2005. They had with them crushed grapes from Paso Robles, compressed in an oak barrel. They added yeast. And then they waited, periodically monitoring the barrel's contents, straining it of pulp and sediment. A year later, the friends - most of them amateur vintners - had produced a barrel of wine. "Our hopes were not really to create outstanding wine," said Weiser, 51, a graphic designer in the advertising industry.
FOOD
April 20, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
I opened this bottle, poured out a glass of the deep garnet Syrah and got a whiff of sun-baked hillside, dark berries and wild herbs. The taste is redolent of spice and blackberries, smoke and something brambly and wild. A close but less glamorous cousin of Hermitage, the 2009 Crozes Hermitage "Les Jalets" from Jaboulet is made from 25-year-old vines. The grapes come mostly from "Les Jalets" vineyard, named after the old French word for the pebbles left by Alpine glaciers. FOR THE RECORD: Wine of the Week: In the April 20 Saturday section, the Wine of the Week review of the 2009 Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage "Les Jalets" gave an incorrect phone number for Monopole Wine in Pasadena.
FOOD
September 30, 2010 | By Patrick Comiskey, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Days after record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures across much of the state, the 2010 wine grape harvest has officially lurched into gear, weeks later than normal, kicking off the final acts of one of the strangest California vintages in recent memory. Just a little more than a week ago, the day before the autumnal equinox, Sonoma winemaker Merry Edwards had her harvest staff stuffing envelopes for a fall mailing and once again taking a mop to the floors of her barely used crushpad.
FOOD
August 4, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
I've been drinking Qupé Syrah for years but never knew until now that (1) Qupé is pronounced "kyoo-PAY" (I'd thought it was koo-PAY all this time) and (2) it's the Chumash Indian word for California poppy. Turns out winemaker Bob Lindquist has a poetic streak. The 2009 Qupé Syrah from the Bien Nacido vineyard is a stunner. Lindquist has been working with the famed vineyard for more than 25 years and gets the best from the grapes. This Syrah has everything going for it: beautiful fruit, elegance and impressive balance.
FOOD
July 21, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
René Rostaing is known for his stellar Côte-Rôtie, due in part to the old-vine vineyards he inherited from his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize, and uncle Marius Gentaz-Dervieux. While Côte-Rôtie by definition is expensive, Rostaing's "Les Lézardes" Syrah, made from old vines adjacent to Côte-Rôtie, offers great value. The grapes may not boast that heady appellation, but they deliver an enchanting Syrah. Unmistakably northern Rhone, the 2009 "Les Lézardes" is rich and spicy, tasting of wild plums and carrying the scent of sun-baked herbs from the steep hillsides.
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