PICK of the RACK: Talmage | Syrah | Mariah Vineyards | Mendocino County | California | 2006 | $30 | 90pts

Aromas:  kirsch; peppercorn; dried herbs; woodsmoke
Character:  dry; full-bodied & savory; firm structure; fruit-earth balance; medium acids & tannin; integrated oak
Flavors: black plum & dark fruit compote; roasted red bell pepper; black olive; anise
Food Pairing: sharp cheeses; smoked meats & fish; game

Talmage is another great collection of wines produced by Magnanimus Wine Group in Mendocino County, California.  (See the August 15, 2012 PICK of the RACK – Mendocino Farms, a sister label of Talmage.)  Their 2006 Syrah was crafted from fruit sourced from a sustainably farmed, family owned and operated vineyard situated at 2,600 feet above sea level on Mendocino Ridge.  At this elevation – with the fogline below and Pacific Ocean within view – days are cooler and nights are warmer, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and develop harmonious flavors, acids, and tannins.  The result is an exotic wine, loaded with aromas and flavors of deep, dark fruit, herbs, roasted pepper, and anise.  Added to the mélange are earthy notes of mineral, woodsmoke, and toasty oak (14 months in French oak barrels).   This wine is complex but not overwrought;  a seamlessly balanced, expressively flavored rendition of high elevation, cool climate Syrah. 

Availability: Talmage wines, along with Magnanimus Wine Group’s other wine collections (and associated labels) – Mendocino Farms, Old River Cellars, and Ukiah Cellars – are sold through their tasting room at Campovida, an organic gardening, food, and wine center in Hopland, California. Production is fairly small (only 424 cases of the 2006 Talmage Syrah were produced), but they do have limited distribution nationwide so ask your favorite wine merchant if they can order it. To order it directly, visit them at www.magnanimuswines.com or call their Campovida tasting room at (707) 744-8797.


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