February 20, 2013

Appel on Wine: Don't be a prude – hail Syrah and its concupiscent body

By Joe Appel

(Continued from page 1)

"What's in the glass?" you ask. Ah, OK. Finally. What I love about this wine is that the touchstones are there: A bacon-fat flavor, loads of white and black pepper, and as it opens, dry leaves, truffles and fat, fresh mushrooms.

But it's not just touchstones; this is a Syrah with a mind of its own. The berry flavors, for instance, are more red and blue than the French purple and black. And there's a southeast Asian component, like a Tom Yum broth loaded with galangal and tamarind. Some people talk about Syrah's espresso profile, but the Petite Cochon is coffee in a sweeter mode, Turkish.

I credit the careful ripening and conscientious oak treatment with chewy, succulent tannins that should go in the tannins hall of fame. The oak brings in vanilla and star anise flavors, but also produces a wine personality that I want to call slutty. Slutty and indulgent, but in a good way! Well-bathed, ya know? Walks down the street and you just say, "Wow, what a great body."

Even before I was in a monogamous relationship, I was often too scared to approach such people. So I'm making up for that with the Petite Cochon. I'm drinking it in and I'm grateful for how it came to be, because it points us all in the direction of better wines generally.


Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market. His blog, soulofwine.com, continues the conversation, and he can be reached at: soulofwine.appel@gmail.com


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