by Fred McMillin
My wife buying Shiraz wine in Persia(Iran).
Over a century later, I checked these observations in person. In Persia, many of the wine grapes lay on the ground, protected from the scorching sun by heavy foliage. The reds I sipped at Shiraz were the country's best.
Later on the Rhone, vintner Max Chapoutier led me up the Syrah-covered Hermitage hill to see the hermit's original little stone chapel, crowned with a small cross. The only thing more impressive than the wines were the legends...e.g., we stayed in a hotel which claims to be the site of a famous suicide...that of Pontius Pilate. Now, on to a California Syrah specialist.
The prestigious Wine Spectator reviewed our Wine of the Day this way...
McDowell Syrah, Vintage 1997
"This supple California Syrah is smooth and nicely nuanced. From one of the state's Rhone varietal pioneers. A BEST BUY."
My panel agreed, in a blind tasting giving it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (A decade ago my same tasters gave the 1986 vintage similar praise.) By coincidence, both the Spectator and my panel rated today's wine 88.
For more—See the Dec. 25, 1997 WineDay titled, "A Saint Nick Pick".
Phone—(707) 744-1053, FAX (7O7) 744-l826
Price—$10 to $12 range
When the McMullen book was published in New York City in February 1852, there was another new publication on the city streets, a newspaper called The New York Times.
Credits—Research by Diane Bulzomi.
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.
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