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2006 Sterling Albert Winery Syrah Mt. Diablo

I grilled up some lamb steaks last night with a rub I made on the fly: Cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and oregano (I was out of mint). I mixed in some oil, made a paste, and slathered it on those grass-fed New Zealand steaks.

Syrah was a natural pairing. But not just any syrah. The 2006 Sterling Albert Syrah, made from grapes grown on Mt. Diablo’s Mangini/Albert Vineyard in Contra Costa County, was ideal because it showed the savory, herbal (I definitely detected some oregano) and smoky elements that California syrahs with a touch of age tend to exhibit.

The deep purple color is misleading. This is a complex wine, but it’s not huge and brimming with alcohol. Still, just to make sure it wouldn’t dominate my lamb steaks, I uncorked the bottle half an hour before we were planning on eating, so the wine had a chance to mellow out. I think it will only get better in the next few days. It’s got soft tannins, balanced fruit, and a surprisingly long finish.

The wine is still available for $24 (a steal if you ask me) on the winery’s web site.

Posted by on May 25, 2010.

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Categories: Corkheads

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About Bottoms Up

Jessica Yadegaran has been a lifestyle writer and wine writer for the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California, since 2004. She discovered wine, and all its sensual and intellectual pleasures, while working at the San Luis Obispo Tribune and frolicking in the Central Coast’s burgeoning wine country. But her relationship with wine goes a [...]more →