2018 Cairdeas Winery Concrete Syrah
This is a great example of how interesting a red wine can taste after aging solely in a concrete egg. For this Syrah, winemaker Charlie Lybecker literally dumped half the grapes into open-topped fermenters without crushing or destemming. When no yeast is added, fermentation begins within the grapes themselves, resulting in carbonic maceration occurs. This technique tends to accentuate the fruity notes in a wine (think Beaujolais).
The other half of the grapes were traditionally fermented and then both lots were poured into 2-17 hectoliter concrete eggs. Each is equivalent to about 450 gallons, equalling roughly the same volume as 7 1/2 oak barrels. The egg shape creates a constant vortex– circulating and stirring the juice inside without any manual assistance. Concrete adds some really interesting texture to wine and winemakers all over the world are embracing it.
Carbonic maceration really brought out the fruity aromas of marionberries and raspberries in this wine! I also smelled mineral notes of gravel dust and earthy, herby bay leaf.
The best way I can describe this wine is like eating a bowl full of berries; raspberries, strawberries, and marionberries! Then add just a sprinkle of vanilla to the mix. After I swallowed, I felt a prickly sensation all over my mouth. This wine was quite unique with great texture and no time in barrel– very uncommon for a Syrah.
Food pairing suggestions:
Thanksgiving dinner, beet and citrus salad, mushroom and spinach tetrazzini.
Follow these links to read more about the Royal Slope AVA and the wines made from there:
Royal Slope, Washington wine’s crowning jewel
2018 Baer Winery Shard
2017 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah
2019 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Viognier
2016 Baer Winery Arctos Cabernet sauvignon
2019 Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Sauvignon blanc
Washington crowns the new Royal Slope AVA
Royal Slope, Washington State’s newest wine AVA
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