Scott Harvey is a pioneer of modern winemaking in California’s Sierra Foothills region, the state’s historic gold rush country located east of Sacramento on the opposite side of the Central (Sacramento) Valley. Scott grew up in the area, and throughout his accomplished career in winemaking has played a prominent role in bringing the region – Amador County, in particular – to the forefront of California viticulture. A while back we visited Scott’s quaint tasting room in the gold rush town of Sutter Creek and more recently featured his 2008 “1869” Zinfandel, a delightful rendition of the variety from 140 year-old head-pruned vines. Scott’s 2008 Mountain Selection Syrah is just as delicious but appreciably more rambunctious – with bright aromas of fresh cherries, vanilla bean, and cinnamon that transition to effusive flavors of cherries and boysenberries, dark chocolate-covered dried fruit, and a pinch of sweet cured tobacco. Scott aged the wine – 100% Syrah – in French oak for 21 months, but you’d really never know it as the oak is subtly integrated into the wine’s aromas, flavors, and body. The oak blends in – doesn’t shout out; a rare quality signaling a deft hand in winemaking. Extracted and robust with a luscious texture, this Syrah pairs beautifully with rich meat dishes such as barbeque spare ribs, grilled sausage, and roasted pork. It’s a thoroughly rewarding wine at a very pleasing price.
Availability: Scott produced only 459 cases of the 2008 Mountain Selection Syrah, so you’re unlikely to spot it in a wine shop. You can, however, purchase it at the Scott Harvey tasting room in Sutter Creek (just off Route 49 in Amador County), by calling Muffin Simpson in the tasting room at 209-267-0122, or by ordering online at: www.scottharveywines.com.