Must Be 21

A Picture-Perfect Wine

December 15, 2014
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The 2012 Syrah from Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria AVA has a tightness and restraint that opens over time. Think of it as the wine equivalent of a Polaroid picture.

It's this slow reveal that Michael Meagher, winemaker and owner of Vino V Wines in Ventura, loves about cooler-climate Syrahs.

"It takes a little time in the glass–perfect for the pace of a dinner–to evolve and begin showing itself," says Meagher. He prefers to let a wine open at its own pace and not use an aerator.

The wine, bottled in May, is very young, notes Meagher. Tasters will pick up a melange of white pepper, blueberries, plums, olallieberries, figs, currants, green olives, grilled meats and light tar, he says. There's minerality to the wine and notes of leather and gunpowder.

"There is an amount of 'baby fat' that will burn off over time," he adds. "The components will become even more integrated and the fruit aspects will become more apparent. The tannins will become more elegant and silt-like."

"While very nice now, this wine will be fantastic in a couple of years."

Pair this garnet-hued wine with cold-weather comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese, particularly one of Kel's "Killer" Macs from Paradise Pantry in Ventura, he says by way of a shout-out. The darker fruits, earthiness and structure of the wine also work well with turkey, goose, stews and barbecued meats, he says.

Every wine has a distinct personality, and for this young Syrah, Meagher describes it as dark, brooding and introspective upon approach. In the glass or bottle aged, it turns likable, loyal, versatile, animal-y and indestructible. In short, if it were a person, Meagher says it'd be Wolverine from Marvel Comics and X-Men movies.

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