[EDIT: Check out the review of the latest vintage!]
SRP of $30 and available widely for $23. Sample received courtesy the winemaker for review purposes.
From the winemaker:
"The 2008 Espérance marks a serious shift in vineyard sourcing, which (in my opinion) has yielded a much bigger, more profound wine! We sourced all of the Grenache Noir (John Alban clone) for this vintage from the Terra Bella Vineyard in the West Side Paso Robles...Grenache is the backbone of this wine, with 25% Syrah added from the cooler climes of the Santa Ynez Valley, to add spice notes and tannins to the very rich and fruit forward Grenache. We finished the blend off with Mourvèdre that is grown on very steep hillsides in Paso Robles...a unique Mourvèdre that lends a floral, lifted note to the wine. We also shifted our winemaking and aging regimen with this vintage...employing more whole clusters into the small-lot Grenache fermentations, and a higher percentage of new French Oak...33% new, with the balance 1-3 years old.
"Espérance" translates into "Hope" from French to English. With this wine, we "hope" to not only recreate the great reds of Southern France, but we further "hope" to craft a wine that will inspire your senses the way we were inspired over a decade ago.
Today's wine is the first in a new series on wines over $20, entitled "Saturday Splurge". Now before you go thinking we're changing our tune around here let me explain. While this blog is all about (and will continue to be all about) finding great wine under $20, we will admit there is also plenty of good wine over $20. And while it's pretty rare the we will spend that much ourselves, we know that many of our readers like to splurge every once in awhile, and this is OK. Maybe you just want to try something new. Or maybe you just need to convince yourself again that wine under $20 can be just as good as the expensive stuff (those sneaky marketers can be pretty effective). Or maybe you're buying for a wine snob who simply can't get past the price. And then there are those varietals/blends you may want to try that simply can't be found for under $20. Well, this new series is for all those occasions.
Every Saturday (at least for the foreseeable future) we'll bring you a "Saturday Splurge" selection that passes the Reverse Wine Snob taste test. We won't score these on our normal rating system, but we'll only recommend wines that we really like.
And so to kick-off this new series we go to a producer that we love, Andrew Murray Vineyards, whose Tous Les Jours Syrah currently holds the top spot on our Top 10 list. Today's wine can be found for as low as $23 so it's not too much of a stretch. Of course the real question is...how does it taste?
The 2008 Andrew Murray Vineyards Espérance begins with big fruity aromas and some smoky black pepper and floral notes. The wine tastes really smooth with rich and succulent dark fruit flavors of blackberry and black cherry. A nice kick of spicy tannins flow naturally on the finish and add a great texture to the wine. This one has a long finish with just a little bit of heat. Some might find this wine to be a tad over the top but if you're a fan of big, rich and fruity wines this wine is for you. A perfect wine for our first...
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.