2004 Four Gates Syrah and whiskey braised short ribs
This weekend I wanted to taste something American, having drunk Israeli wine for the past few weeks, while very enjoyable, I was looking for a change of pace. The weather is cooling down here and so we went with a pair of good old chicken soup and whiskey braised short ribs. The soup came out quite nicely, as did the ribs, but we did not have much in way of sauce, as it seemed to all cook out in the crockpot overnight. So, we made more and threw it in with the meat in the oven, Friday night, such is what you get for last minute cooking.
I was wondering which Syrah I would enjoy and I thought – hey it was time to drink another bottle of Four Gates Syrah. Without realizing it, this is the second time that I enjoyed the wine recently, the past time was 6 months ago, or so. The last time we had it – the wine was showing more blue fruit, this time, the blue fruit (Blueberry or boysenberry) was far in the background and the black fruit, tar, and dirt were in the foreground – interesting stuff. If I tasted this blind I would have thought this wine to be an Israeli or French wine – definitely not a California Syrah. The bottle had a slight leak because of it upside down position in my cellar, and a slight defect/crease in the cork. So, the wine may have been compromised, but the end result was still quite lovely. I do not think this wine is in drink up mode yet; it has another year or two. I will track this a bit more slowly with the stash I have left and report back as I drink them up.
2004 Four Gates Syrah – Score: A-
The nose on this electric purple colored wine explodes with roasted animal, smoky notes, licorice, floral notes of rose hips, mounds of loamy dirt, heavy mineral, lovely herb, eucalyptus, and deep rooted vegetation. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is filled with dark and alluring fruits, mouth coating, rich, still integrating tannin, lovely bracing acid, along with a powerful, layered, concentrated blackcurrant, ribbons of blueberry, bushels of plum, blackberry, all wrapped up nicely with good cedar and a mouthfeel that is quite impressive. The finish is long, rich, and loaded for bear, with truckloads of black asphalt, chocolate, huge amount of spice – almost like a cabinet full of it, with cloves and black pepper taking up center stage, charcoal, all appearing for split seconds on a long and lingering finish – BRAVO!