Sometimes I wonder if I love our Cuvee Christine Syrah too much. It may be one of our most underappreciated wines. Several people thoroughly enjoy it, but I wonder why not more. Cuvee Christine, our quintessential Sonoma County Syrah offering, bridges the gap between new and old world so well; taking advantage of California’s sunshine and ripeness all the while maintaining a European sensibility. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Some have suggested that if we charged more than the $45/bottle it might gain respect. However as a winemaker, you simply want it to be about the wine.
Well at this year’s Nantucket Wine Festival we did a private dinner in a wonderful home with our family of customers. The very talented Peter and Kathleen Wallace of the Westmoore Club created the menu. Without exaggeration I can say that I became nearly emotional tasting his food with our wines. Why? Peter did not just stick to convention – whites with fish, reds with heavier dishes – he created dishes to suit our wines. It was clear he understood the wines, and took time to think about them. And isn’t that all we want in life: to be understood. I digress.
Peter tailored a dish for the Cuvee Christine that was stunning. Simple, but stunning: Buffalo tenderloin, well sourced, lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked. The 2009 Christine Syrah had never tasted better and was my wine of the night. Sure the single vineyard wines of higher price merit everything they receive. And I should point out that it isn’t like we can’t sell the Christine, it just seems undervalued in everyone’s psyche and I’m here to scream from the Nantucket roof tops: drink well, drink up, drink Syrah, drink Donelan Christine!