Those of us who love aged wines sometimes feel like we face an extinction event. Well over 90% of the wine purchased in the U.S. is consumed within 24 hours of purchase and it is estimated that 99% of our annual production is intended to be consumed with 5 years. Yet, as I travel about the country visiting wineries I occasionally fine kindred souls who make wine intended to age and will not release a bottle until it’s drinking near its peak. Devitt Winery in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley is one such winery.
A labor of love producing 800-1200 cases of small lot wine annually, from mostly estate grapes, the winery was started by former Napa producer Jim Devitt in 2003 as a way of salvaging excess grapes. Today the winemaking is done by grandson Brendon who took us through the tasting starting with their recently released, textured Viognier, an outstanding rich, almost buttery Rosato, a big, spicy field blend, and a Pinot Noir. But the stars of the show were the several Bordeaux varietals and Syrah from 2005-2009. Especially this Syrah which saw 9 1/2 years of barrel aging before release.
The expressive nose is a kaleidoscope of constantly changing aromas– cigar box, mint, dried cherry, coriander, caramel and sweet oak. These are gorgeous , rich, deep, focused aromas.
On the palate the dried cherry note is persistent delicately weaving a mouthwatering line knitting the wine together. Soft, spare and elegant upfront, the fruit power fades into a rush of swelling, lively acidity that develops citrus notes on the finish that preside over reticent tannins.
The heady, aromatic elixir and sinuous mouthfeel bring to mind the mysteries and seductions of the Arab Souk at twilight, sensual, secretive, suspense lurking behind curtains, an atmosphere captured by Anouar Brahem’s “Le Pas du Chat Noir”
Price: $26 (Purchase Here)