Saturday, October 16, 2010


Cimarone 3CV Syrah

The “tent sale” that Wally's Wine and Spirits throws every now and zin on Westwood Boulevard is a huge attraction for me.  I just love the whole “circus of wine” atmosphere that big tent over the parking lot produces.  And, as I have mentioned before, I love a bargain.

The biggest bargains at the tent sale are usually found on the highest-priced products.  50% off an $800 wine still leaves it a bit out of my neighborhood.  But even if I'm only saving $3 on a $20 wine, that gives me something else to feel good about.

Not that I needed much more to feel good about with Cimarone's 3CV Syrah.  This estate-grown, Santa Ynez Valley wine is a joy from start to glorious finish.

3CV stands for Three Creek Vineyard, which is where the fruit is grown.  Syrah clones 877, 383 and Noir are gathered for this limited release.  The fruit is certified organic.  My bottle is marked as “0514 of 6900.”

Roger and Priscilla Higgins, owners of Cimarone, hired the right man for the winemaking job.  Esteemed juiceman Doug Margerum made a name for himself when his family bought Santa Barbara's Wine Cask, then formed his own company, Margerum Wine Company.  He also makes wine for Barrack Wines and Cent'anne, in addition to Cimarone.  He's a busy guy.

The fruit is from the Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara County.  3CV Syrah is aged ten months in neutral oak and has 14.5 abv.  The 3CV label is Cimarone's outlet for younger, affordable, early drinking wines.

The nose of anise, pepper and plums is quite enjoyable.  It's a dark purple that's difficult to see through.  The taste of black fruit and earth is lush, and it's compounded by the smoothness of the wine.  The tannins are like silk, but it has a great acidity and is nice and dry.  This wine drinks great immediately, and it takes on a bit of a tar component if left open for two or three days.

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