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The Wine Enthusiast: Berenda Road Syrah

The Temecula Valley is a daunting place to live for the amateur wine enthusiast because there are so many wineries to visit. IMG_20140420_182528

There are wineries that specialize in whites and others that specialize in reds. Some are known for particular varietals, and still some others attempt to transcend the idea of having a trademark type of wine by making a little bit of everything.

So why I am I talking about Temecula Valley’s Wine Country, and what does it matter?

My name is Kriss Knott, and I’m a 21-year-old college student who is trying his best to learn all about the wonderful world of wine. Sometimes, however,  I feel a little bit overwhelmed because it’s difficult to figure out just what to try first when there are literally dozens of different options. After all, Temecula is Southern California’s premier wine country.

But what may appear to be a curse is also a blessing for me because it’s really nice to start in a place where there are many different options to form a basis of comparison with. After all, it’s hard to know if you have good wine unless you’ve tried a lot of wine. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I do have some experience and have tried at least some varietals from the Temecula Valley as well as other places and that’s the knowledge I relied upon when tasting a 2013 Berenda Road Syrah from Temecula.

The wine, which is a dry red, makes no attempt to be anything but itself; it’s not overly complex nor does it have a multitude of flavor components.

For the most part it came off as a little bit of a sophomoric effort on the part of Southcoast Winery, which is known for its complex renditions of various varietals and its effort to make quality wines with every grape press.

There might have been underlying flavor profiles in the wine, but I had difficulty detecting them in part because of how oaky it tasted. There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that when the wine was made, it was aged in an oak barrel or was exposed to oak at some point.

Don’t get me wrong: I like wines that have been aged in oak barrels because they retain a certain earthy boldness that’s really enjoyable and if done right, they’ll have aromatic hints of such things as coffee, berries and leather. I didn’t get any of those, unfortunately.

I swirled the wine around in an attempt to oxygenate it, a process that most sommeliers will recommend.

Oxygenating a wine can sometimes unveil certain flavor profiles and will just make a wine better. That’s why when people drink wine, it usually gets more enjoyable as they go along because its being exposed to oxygen after being bottled for such a long time.

Still, after several minutes of oxygenation the wine didn’t really impress me. I might have gotten some more complex earthy tones, but there wasn’t much else to be said.

The other problem with the wine was its mouth feel; it was thick and chalky. I would have liked its finish to be a little more smooth.

Ultimately that’s why I’d have to give this wine 2 1/2 stars. Had it at least made up for its lack of flavor with a more preferable consistency, it might have received a slightly better score.




1 Comment on The Wine Enthusiast: Berenda Road Syrah

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