Chris and I celebrated her birthday dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Bar La Grassa. Since Dave and Heather have not been there, they wanted to join us and experience the excellent Italian food. I made reservations for four at 5:30pm to avoid the rush.
We decided to car pool so we picked them up. The corkage fee was $25 per bottle so Dave and I decided to bring our own wine. The fee seems a bit high but we still wanted to enjoy our own wines. Dave brought along a 2004 Marques de Griñon Syrah and I grabbed a Shafer 2009 Merlot.
The Marques de Griñon Syrah is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Graciano. The wine is named after the Spanish word for limestone. The ideal combination of a mineral-rich topsoil one to three feet deep over a pure limestone topsoil such as found at the estate of Dominio de Valdepusa originates some of the world’s best terroirs and wines.
(Sorry, the quality of the pictures is not the best!)
When we first arrived we decided to open both of the wines at the same time. We drank the Syrah first as I figured that the Shafer Merlot might be a bit bolder and would pair nicer with our meal.
Our server opened both bottles and Dave tried the Syrah first, while I tasted the Merlot. Both were good so we filled our glasses with the Syrah. Since Heather is not a huge red fan she ordered a nice glass of Riesling.
After our first sip I knew right away that I would want to rate the 2004 Marques de Griñon Syrah. I had asked Dave if he had another bottle but unfortunately he did not so I opened up my note pad on my iPhone and began making notes. Here are our tasting notes.
The 2004 Syrah had a nice Garnet color to it. The meniscus was slightly brighter and it was clear.
We could smell Plum, Dark Red fruit like Cherry.
The tannins were very soft with a medium finish and it was full bodied. We could feel the tannins in our mid palate. Some of the flavors we noted were Cocoa and dark ripe fruit. The 2004 Marques de Griñon Syrah was very good and easy to drink.
We all rated this wine three glasses.
After we enjoyed our appetizers and finished the 2004 Marques de Griñon Syrah, the main dishes arrived. We order four different dishes and shared them family style. Chris ordered the GNOCCHI with CAULIFLOWER and ORANGE, Heather had the CAVATELLI with BRAISED RABBIT, Dave FUSILLI COL BUCO with LAMB MEATBALLS and I ordered the SILK HANKERCHIEFS with BASIL PESTO. What an excellent meal and the 2009 Shafer Merlot paired well.
In Veno Veritas!