While sipping on an excellent syrah with dinner tonight, I could not help but be struck by the thought: why do producers try to make pinot noir taste like a syrah, when syrah itself is so much better at tasting like, well, itself. This is always confusing to me. It just seems that if you want to make a big, rich jammy wine that you would pick a vine that’s good at it.
The 2005 L’Ecole No. 41 Syrah, Columbia Valley is a wine that combines power and an earthy richness with complexity in a way no pinot noir can (or should). Pinot done in this style seems blowsy, but this L’Ecole is stylish, structured and balanced in its depth and intensity. If you want big and elegant a great syrah, like this L’Ecole, is a better choice (and cheaper) than those strange syrupy pinot noirs running around the market these days.
Big fat pinots seem a bit slutty, but big rich syrah has real class.