I was at a wedding last night. There was wine, there was food.
I havn't been drinking much Rhone wines lately. Actually, it's been a few months. I love the Rhone Valley - Cotes du Rhone wines were the wines that absolutely fascinated me, and began my interest in wine. They were masculine, big, rough wines that best of all, were value-driven. I'm sorry to say that I've neglected this region these past few years, in my search for Bordeaux, Champagne, and Niagara. But it's important to go back to your roots.
I have 2 bottles of Rhone left. Both from St. Joseph, both of which I've had for quite a few years. Should be interesting - like catching up with an old friend again. I'd love to explore and drink some Northern Rhone wines, but in this age of the super-cuvee, those wines have sadly become exclusive to wealthy, douchey, donkey palates.
It's interesting, the syrah grape. Australians, on a whole, still have no idea how to make sensible, food-friendly syrah. Nor do the Americans. Maybe I'm biased, but I've tasted some interesting Niagara syrah. Lailey, in particular. The intense black pepper on the nose, the spiciness and the liveliness of the wine was amazing. Also, the white pepper character of the Creekside, which was such a surprise because I have little respect for them. I think Niagara's doing some interesting things - I'd like to see where this will go. Great varietal characteristics, yet distinctively cool-climate.