Tonight we drank one of the bottles of wine that my mother in-law sent us. As I mentioned before, when she went to her high school reunion in CA she discovered that several of her classmates own vineyards and she decided to send me a bottle from each to try. The first one we have consumed is a 2003 Chatom Vineyards Esmeralda Syrah. From the website I can see that it runs $34, is 14.5% alcohol by volume and has a real cork closure. Chatom Vineyards is located in Calaveras County in Esmeralda Valley from which this wine takes its name. It also appears that this Syrah won a bronze medal in the 2006 San Fransisco Chronicle Wine Competition. I believe this is my first bottle of wine from Calaveras County, though it won't be my last as I've got a Twisted Oak Verdelho that just arrived from WineQ waiting for me!
Oh yes, the wine! Decant it. The alcohol on the nose took quite a while to blow off, over an hour in the glass I'd say. I served the wine with some freshly made tomato sauce, pasta and parmasean cheese. Aromas of cherries, spices, oak and dark chocolate could be found on the nose. The nose was complex, with the aromas showing better after sitting out and more layers appearing over the next hours. In the mouth, the flavors were cherries, raspberries and plums, with a lingering spicy note. The finish was long, lasting at least 10 seconds or so.
Overall the wine was a good match for the dinner, with the spicy notes complementing my sauce nicely. I liked the style of the wine, it was quite well balanced and I think I would serve it with roasted lamb or a nice bbq if I had another bottle.