Blueberries, pomegranate, five spice and black olive aromas race from the glass. Taste is more of the same along with a little bit of cocoa powder, candied ginger and a brush of acidity that elevates all these flavors. Coming in at 13.6% alcohol, this medium-bodied, perfumed, intense red is classic Northern Rhone-style Syrah. Enjoy this with Memphis-style BBQ Ribs (all about the rub, no sweet sauce).
A typical lesson of Wine 101 is that European wines are more earthy than fruity and California wines are more fruity than earthy. It’s a good rule to follow provided you believe that rules are made to be broken. Cool-climate California Syrah wines are the biggest rule breakers.
Which leads me to the Apsara Syrah Las Madres 2015. “Las Madres,” on the Sonoma side of the Carneros, is planted all to Syrah and sells their grapes to Apsara and other outstanding, tiny wineries who love Syrah with that old-world style. Las Madres Vineyard is a California wine-style rule breaker.
Scotsman Robin Akhurst learned he loved wine while attending Edinburgh University. His wine journey took him to Provence, Burgundy, Barossa Valley and finally Napa Valley. Working next to and learning from great winemakers all along the way. He makes tiny lots of wine under his Apsara label (his Las Madres Syrah case in point – 50 cases) while keeping his “day job” as winemaker at Clos Pegase and Swanson Vineyards. Robin is talented, modest, and dedicated to making delicious, honest wines that speak of their place. Doesn’t get any better than that.
For all the Apsara wines I’ve reviewed, go here.