December 2015 - Wine of the Month
SOLO TIRIO SYRAH is a red wine from Bodegas Aragonesas, a winery that belongs to the D.O. Campo de Borja, a region located in the northwest of the province of Zaragoza (Aragón, Spain), between the plains of the River Ebro and the mountains of the Sistema Ibérico. The Moncayo mountain is the dominant feature of the regionand creates a microclimate which gives the wines a special character.
Although Bodegas Aragonesas is esteemed for its wines made of Grenache, the wine we are talking about today is a 100% Syrah, which is another very popular grape variety, and I consider it is worth knowing a little more about it. Syrah grapes are especially dark-skinned and used primarily to produce red wine. DNA profiling found Syrah to be the offspring of two grapes from southeastern France: Dureza (a red grape) and Mondeuse blanche (a white grape). Other hypotheses of the grape's origin which have been forwarded during the years seem to have been based primarily or solely on the name or synonyms of the variety. This is, in general, very thin evidence, but despite this fact, origins such as Syracuse or the famous Iranian city of Shiraz have been proposed.
In 2004, Syrah was estimated to be the world's 7th most grown grape. It can be found throughout the globe, from France to New World wine regions. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia, where it has long been established as the most grown dark-skinned variety.
The style and flavour profile of wines made from Syrah are influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown. Moderate climates tend to produce medium to full-bodied wines with medium-plus to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates, Syrah is more consistently full-bodied, with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of liquorice, anise and earthy leather. In many regions the acidity and tannin levels of Syrah allow the wines to have a favourable ageing potential.
As a curiosity, Syrah has one of the highest recommended wine serving temperatures at 16-18 °C.
Now let's return to the wine we are concerned about. “TIRIO” (Tyrian in English) refers to a person from “Tiro” (Tyre), an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Elissa. Nowadays Tyre is the fourth largest city in Lebanon. It was in the port of Tiro where were sold the violet-purple pigments obtained from a unique species of sea snail, making a clear reference to the attractive and intense colour of the wine.
The vineyards are located at a height between 400 and 500 metres from the sea, and the wine has been made of selected grapes from 20 year old vines. Fermentation has been carried out at temperatures below 25 ºC, which combined with a maceration for only 8 to 10 days and a carbonic semi-maceration in one part of the grapes results in a product with a singular and pleasing combination of primary fruity aromas. In order to have add some complexity to the wine, it has also been aged for a short time in French oak barrels. Its colour is cherry-red, with violet hints. The nose is intense, clean and powerful, with a combination of fruity and flowery nuances. It also presents some toasted touches that provide complexity and quality to the wine. The taste, although having a smooth attack, is full and structured, round, rich in nuances, full-bodied, and with a long finish.
To conclude, if you fancy a nice balanced wine and don't want to pay a fortune, you can have SOLO TIRIO SYRAH for just 5,50€, which makes it still more enjoyable. Drink it responsibly and in good company!