January 29, 2007

Che? Syrah?

Wine is sunlight captured in water" - Galileo Galelei

Their story's actually not all that uncommon on the surface. A couple of Silicon Valley technical types searching for a deeper meaning bag the cubicle jungle to pursue a passion for viticulture. But the Ciolinos' story -- as they told it during a cozy winemaker dinner at Nibblers -- their story captured my heart as surely as their Syrah had captured my attention.

Perhaps it's a feeling of kinship with Vincent, whose family came from the old country to Chicago seeking opportunity for their children. When he speaks of Dago Red with Sunday dinner, conversations half in Italian, half in English and summer afternoons spent at Wrigley Field rooting for the Cubs, I can relate (although my Colonial American mother was the baseball fan in the family). And I admire the way he and his family incorporate traditional old-world values into their new-world wines.

Perhaps it's Lise, and the way she's channeled the very thirst for knowledge and drive to excel that likely built her successful Silicon Valley career into creating some of the most unique wines to come out of California's Dry Creek Valley, and marketing them to like minded restaurants and wine shops across the country.

Perhaps it's the shared Ciolinos' commitment to producing world-class wines while respecting the land from which it's produced, to live their lives and run their business as good stewards of that land, using organic and biodynamic principles to produce wine with character while protecting the environment in which the grapes grow.

Perhaps it's Paolo, who has his mother's eyes, his father's smile, and an insatiable curiosity -- a wide eyed wonder and sweet intensity that's also present in the wine that shares his name...

Regardless, your heroine's made room between the steady stock of Zinfandel and Merlot in her wine collection for a sensational new world wine produced old-world style: Montemaggiore's 2003 Paolo's Vineyard Syrah. A worthy contribution to this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday hosted by WineCast celebrating New World Syrah/Shiraz.

Paolo's Vineyard Syrah brings new meaning to the phrase food-friendly -- this wine truly plays well with others. Its complex, velvet fruitiness pairs beautifully with red meats and poultry -- and works equally well with buttery salmon and sablefish. Strong hints of blackberry and chocolate give way to subtle vanilla undertones, making it an excellent accompaniment to hearty winter vegetables, extravagant chocolate desserts, perfect with a loaf of bread and a hunk of artisan cheese.

Montemaggiore Winery
2355 West Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707.433.9499

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Linda said...

well i'll absolutely have to try this wine, or at least one from this vineyeard/producer. any wine that incorporates traditional old-world values into new-world wines is PERFECT for me :) thanks for the beautiful description and review.