The Sean Boyle Syrah 2013 only gets better with age. When I opened a bottle to pair with a couple of steaks we grilled at home, the wine’s gorgeous aromas were evident before I even poured it in the glass. Starting off with premium grapes gives wine a head start, and winemaker Craig Handley uses only the best. In this case, a lush harvest of Syrah grapes from Lester Family Vineyards.
At a recent wine event on the Lester property in Aptos, Pleasant Valley Vineyards owners Craig and Cathy Handley were pouring their superb wines—each one named after a family member.
The wine that caught my attention that day was the Sean Boyle Syrah ($40), named after their grand-nephew Sean, who has yet to reach his first decade. This delicious Syrah is awash with voluptuous fruity aromas and bold berry flavors. It’s aged exclusively in small oak barrels and is bottled unfiltered and unfined—a process gaining in popularity and which basically means the sediment is left in the wine.
“This is a huge crowd pleaser,” say the Handleys of their Syrah. “Its full berry flavors with a delicious white pepper finish are great with any red meat affairs.” And it certainly goes well with pizza. Ricco Felice, owner and chef of Felice Forno—a mobile wood-fired pizza operation—turned out a variety of tasty pies that day to pair with Pleasant Valley Vineyards’ wines.
Pleasant Valley Vineyards, 600 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 288-0074. pvvines.com.
Pinot Harvest Dinner
A wonderful evening of food and wine kicks off Pinot Paradise featuring wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Taste exquisite wines during a wine reception, bid on magnum bottles during a silent auction, and celebrate harvest under the stars at the Pinot Harvest Dinner at Lester Family Vineyards in Aptos. All proceeds will benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Tickets are $150 per attendee and include admission to the Pathway to Pinot Paradise Wine Trail in October. The Harvest Dinner event is 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.
Visit Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association for more info on the dinner and other Pinot Paradise events, at scmwa.com.