Archive for November 10th, 2010


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-four (Zaca Mesa Syrah 2005)

I am currently listening to Dusky Goykovich’s Swinging Macedonia. I am particularly fond of “Macedonia.”

It’s a good album. It has a gypsy feel. A malagueña feel. A Lorca feel. A Macedonian feel.

Plus, the people who did the theme song for Mission Impossible must have stolen the beginning from “Wedding March of Alexander the Macedonian.”

John Coltrane The Complete Africa/Brass SessionsAnyway, if you like John Coltrane’s versions of “Greensleeves,” you’ll like this album. I especially love, love, love both versions of “Greensleeves” on Coltrane’s The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions. That’s a must have album. It’s amazing. By the way, “Greensleeves” is one of the all time great songs in history, no matter who performs it. It’s a great song that has endured for about 400 years now. So, yah, it’s good.

Zaca Mesa Syrah 2005Now it’s time to switch continents. Now it’s time for Zaca Mesa Syrah 2005 from Santa Ynez Valley. I can’t remember the last Syrah I had from California, so this will be a surprise, but maybe not much of a surprise as the Wine Spectator gave it 92 points.

This bottle has been open for two hours, so it should be fully open by now.

The meniscus is tricky. It’s trying to hide, but I can see it. It’s there being all coy while absorbing all the slow falling legs. The meniscus is not saying a word. It’s not inviting or saying come back again some other time. I’ll take that as a cue to give it a sniff. I think I should slowly approach this wine, which makes sense because I’ve been wanting to drink it for about a week now.

Oh, dear Zaca Mesa Syrah, do present your nose.

It’s a lovely Syrah nose. I smell another continent even. I smell Australia.  But no, it’s from California. It smells dark. By the way, it is dark. It’s 98% opaque with bright purple sides and a dark ruby hue. It has a hint of pepper in it. It also has blackberries and blueberries. I’m also picking up something like steak fat. Juicy, yummy, slight charred steak fat that is served on a white plate next to a bouquet of flowers. There’s definitely flowers in the nose. Oh, the table has a muted white and freshly pressed table cloth. And here comes the server with a towel draped over his left arm. He pours me a glass of the Zaca Mesa Syrah 2005. What a picturesque nose this wine has. Already, I want to come back.

Anyway. To the tasting. Allons-y.

It’s cold in the front of the mouth and warm in the back. You know what? It’s kinda meaty. It’s got like a steak finish and sort of a steak feel, but only on the finish. A good medium-rare steak. At the same time, and I hate putting this next to the steak, but it’s a bit leathery, too.

It’s definitely a full-bodied wine. It’s a hard body, too, yet a bit juicy.  And it seems old world Syrah to me, which is fine, but I like them even bigger than this one and with more explosions. But that’s me. What about this wine. It’s a solid, sturdy wine. The flavors are concentrated, which I like, but I think a little cheese or red sauce pasta or, of course, some steak would put this wine at ease and make it all loose and cool. You know, like a muted white and freshly pressed table cloth but with a few crumbs on it and a waded up cloth napkin and one unused fork.

I have no steak, but I have some cheese and water. Oh, yeah. That did it. This wine opened right up. It got all bright like it’s bright purple sides. It started smiling and kicking back. It put its napkin on the table, slid the chair back a bit, kicked out its legs, started chattin’ and laughin’ away while tapping the unused fork on the freshly pressed table cloth, and then it said, “Honey, where’s that baked Alaska at?”

Oh, this just gets better and better. I haven’t had a bite of cheese in a while. Yeah, it’s lovely. A wonderful commingling of steak and flowers.

I like this wine. I can’t wait to serve it with dinner.

Enough said. I’ll give it 90 points.

By the way, we just travelled to four different continents and through 400 years in this post. It’s time for more Zaca Mesa Syrah.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

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November 2010


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