From the Salt Lick Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, this Fall Creek Vineyards 2017 ExTerra 100% Syrah drinks much like an Italian Barolo or bold Cab blend out of Napa Valley. Of course, I love it when we can identify the terroir of a wine.
Sometimes the dominant flavor I get from a Texas red wine is a cranberry or tart cherry on the finish. This Syrah has no tartness and the finish is smooth. I don’t like to tell people what they should smell or taste when you put a wine glass to your lips. On the other hand, it can be helpful when trying to find a wine to suit specific needs such as pairing to a meal or pleasing a particular palate.
The wine is fruit-forward with notes of blackberries and plums which reminds me of many Napa reds. I also get a touch of earthy red dirt, the leather of an old baseball glove, and chalky tannins like an Italian Barolo. My friend Dena is certainly making fun of me for my strangely specific description!
We paired this wine tonight with Butcher Box Pulled Pork with bar-b-que sauce, steamed riced cauliflower, and sliced avocado with fresh cracked black pepper. The wine has enough acidity to balance its tannins and hold up to the sauce. The slightly sweet sauce brings out more of the fruit flavors.
This dinner is an excellent example of taking something simple to a new level. I would love the wine with roasted duck breast with fresh berries or a charcuterie board, complete with goose liver pâté, cheeses, and fresh berries.
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