Soquel Vineyards 2006 Syrah

wine_soquelTwin brothers Peter and Paul Bargetto own and operate Soquel Vineyards with their partner Jon Morgan. Although the Bargetto brothers are related to the Bargettos of Bargetto Winery fame in Soquel, they are a separate entity when it comes to their winery. But winemaking most definitely runs in the family – with a little bit of Pinot Noir and Zinfandel coursing through the Bargetto family’s veins. Peter and Paul’s grandfather actually started Bargetto Winery in 1933, so winemaking is very much a family tradition.

From the many local wines carried by Deer Park Wine & Spirits in Aptos, I decide on a Soquel Vineyards 2006 Partners’ Reserve Syrah – Santa Cruz Mountains, Lester Family Vineyard. This luscious wine, which sells for about $20, is a wonderful choice for the holidays. Not only will it go well with your 10-pound turkey, but it will also make an ideal gift. Personally, I love gifts of food and wine. What could be better than a splendid bottle of wine – to be opened up and enjoyed with friends and family. My son-in-law, who lives in Seattle, loves wine, so it’s always a done deal to get him a half dozen bottles of our good local stuff for when we go there at Christmas. By the time we’ve all had Christmas dinner, day-after leftovers, played a few card games over the next couple of days – we’ve gone through the whole six bottles, and then some.

Opening up the 2006 Syrah is like experiencing a little bit of wine heaven. Explosive smoky aromas immediately invade the olfactory senses—complete with wild strawberries and tobacco. Dense flavors of cherry, black pepper and toast are all right there as well in this richly textured wine. It’s hard to believe this most excellent nectar can be bought for $20. I believe it usually sells for around $30.

It’s not surprising, then, that this particular Syrah won a gold medal at the 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Commercial Wine Competition—with a score of 90 points. All together, Soquel Vineyards won 15 medals in that particular competition—including another gold for their 2007 Zinfandel, made from 107-year-old vines from Lodi (Schmierer Vineyard).

A visit to Soquel Vineyards’ tasting room is a very pleasurable experience on a weekend. They produce quite a variety of wines – including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pyramid (Meritage), Sangiovese and a Trinity blend—so there’s plenty to choose from when you go for a tasting. But the Syrah is most definitely one of my favorites. It’s an excellent wine to go with a lamb shank, roast duck, smoked meat—or even a festive turkey. I think I’ll take a bottle to my son-in-law in Seattle. He’ll be cooking my Christmas dinner.

Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Road, (P.O. Box 1555), Soquel, 462-9045. soquelvineyards.com.
Tasting room open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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