Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah 2010 - Doubly Good

100% Syrah from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina.
SRP of $25 and available for as low as $19.99. 2,000 cases imported by Vine Connections. Sample submitted for review.

ByThe Reverse Wine Snob

From the winery:"Beautiful deep purple color, tilting the glass the shallows are a soft rose. The nose is like walking into a gentlemen’s poker parlor: aromas of cigar, leather, and smoked meat fill the nose with hints of toasty oak, forest floor and baking spice. Rich, lush, and mouthfilling on the palate. Well structured tannins support big fruit flavors of blackberry jam, black spiced cherries, ground black pepper and just a hint of rhubarb. Nice, long, lingering finish. L3—lush, long and loveable. Pairs well with grilled or smoked meats such as beef, pork, and lamb, and dishes prepared with mild cheeses or wild mushrooms.

14.0% Alcohol"

Syrah is one of my very favorite varieties of wine (as evidenced by yesterday's Bulk Buy) and part of the reason why is that it has such a wide range of expressions. We all know that regions like California, Washington, France, and Australia (just to name a few) can produce very different, yet still world class Syrah. The question I had was whether the Malbec capital of the world could compete on this same level. The answer to that question? Read on...

First, a note about the name of today's wine, "Laborde Double Select". Luis Laborde was a viticulturist who planted the vineyard in the Uco Valley where these grapes were grown. Double Select refers the process he used. Over 50 years ago Laborde selected the best Syrah vines (not clones) he could find from the Rhone Valley in France and then planted them in a research vineyard in Mendoza. He then tracked their quality and picked the vines that did best to plant in his vineyard in the Uco Valley. It was believed that planting a vineyard this way (double mass selection) allowed for subtle variation between the vines, rather than producing an entire vineyard from a clone of one single vine. Whether or not that is true is a matter of great debate among oenologists and viticulturists, and we'll leave that to them. Of more pressing concern to us is just how this wine tastes!

The 2010 Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah begins with a fantastic aroma of blackberry, leather, smoked meat and spice. Tasting this smooth, lush and savory wine reveals lots of blackberry jam which quickly gives way to coffee, chocolate, oaky spice and mineral notes. Fantastic now, although it is still a bit oaky so give it some time to breathe or cellar it for a few years and watch it develop even more. On the finish more savory blackberry fruit is followed by lingering smoky tobacco notes. Can Argentina produce world class Syrah? Absolutely -- add Argentina to the list of countries that do Syrah proud!