Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2002 Terrotica Syrah

2002 Terrotica Syarah is produced by Chateau camplazens, a vineyard own by Susan and Peter Close, a couple from the North of England. The name of this vineyard literally means "Camp (of) Pleasure". It is located at the top of La Clape, a limestone mountain 10 miles long and 4 miles wide overlooking the Mediterranean. La Clape is an official sub-appellation of Coteaux du Languedoc that is gaining in reputation for its wine making.

Camplazens harvests three primary types of vines, following the directives of the AOC La Clape; namely Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. The vineyard also has a small amount of Viognier as well as a new variety called Marselan.

The 2002 Terrotica Syrah carries a 13% abv and cost $6 at Costco.

Tasting notes:

Color: Dark ruby, almost purple.

Nose: Heat upon opening followed by notes of green vegetable. With air, aroma of red cherry, herbs and slight hint of roast meat becomes apparent.

Palate: Initially harsh with streaks of green pepper. As wine opens, the alcohol smooths out yielding more dried cherry and plum flavor; blending with stronger herbs flavor (rosemary?). Quite oaky. Coarse tannins throughout.

Body: Medium to full.

Finish: Short with continuous notes of herbs, dark fruit, black pepper and hint of bitterness.

Comment: The 2001 vintage of this wine is given 88 points by Wine Spectator with the following tasting notes:
"Firm and flavorful with a meaty aroma and loads of dried cherry, plum and spice flavors. Interesting, late-release style, with a finish filled with underbrush and bitter chocolate notes."

However, the 2002 Terrotica Syrah seems to suffer the same fate as the rest of wines from Southern France (Lighter in body with fair amount of under ripe grapes). The 2002 Terrotica Syrah is firm but not very flavorful. There are dried fruits, but definitely not "loads of them".

This is definitely not a sipping wine. Paired it with marinated skirt steak and they are pretty good matches. Surprisingly, this wine does hold up well for about 2 hours, the entire duration of dinner.

10/24/07: Opened my second (and last) bottle. This time the wine revealed much richer dried cherry and violet notes. On the nose, the meat aroma still dominated but the green notes were gone. The palate was consistent: mostly dried cherry and plum. It was still too oaky but the tannins was better integrated. The short finish was all about dark fruit, black pepper and slightly bitterness.
One downside of this wine was the the fruit faded rather quickly in the glass and the flavor was overwhelmed by bitterness and dusty wood notes.

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