Posts tagged #syrah

Solminer Linus Rosé

marissa a ross rosé ross test

Solminer Linus Rosé
Varietal: Syrah
Region: Santa Ynez, California
Year: 2015
Price: $24
Retailer: Direct from winery (online shopping rules)

I wrote this whole thing explaining that despite spending most of my life being referred to as "little bro" and saying everything is "fucking tight", I'm a sophisticated lady who listens to Music For A Sophisticated Lady. And then Neil, who gave me the fucking record, walked in and was like, "You are definitely not a sophisticated lady." 

And I mean, I'm not.
Not in the classical sense.
Or really any sense.

But I am modern and knowledgable, which are both synonyms of "sophisticated", so if the only thing keeping me from being "sophisticated" is that I primarily wear basketball shorts and no make up while chugging wine and cussing too much, then I am fine not being sophisticated or a lady. But it did ruin the lede of this piece. Although that was a waste of my time, it actually worked out because I didn't realize that this rosé was named after the winemakers' son, and it's probably for the best I didn't go comparing it to any sophisticated or unsophisticated ladies. 

BUT THE BLOG MUST GO ON. With or without a cohesive through-line. 

solminer rosé marissa a ross wine

The Solminer rosé is a gorgeous deep coral; a color I love to wear but something I would normally see in a bottle of wine and actively avoid due to the sweetness such a color usually indicates. But the Linus is tart and dry with electric strawberry, and reminds me of this Glass Animals song. It's upbeat with an accelerated acidity that bursts through the palate and long into the finish. With its sharp, sour red fruits, it is very refreshing, and begs to be gulped. It drinks young, but you can taste how much technique and talent went into it. It's one of those bottles that you hate to drink so quickly because you know it's special, but you just can't help it. 

This is rosé at its best. As plush as Provence, and as crisp as California.

Tasting Notes: Neon strawberry and orange zest with like, a kazoo bursting with acidity, and mouthfeel like your favorite well-fitted viscose t-shirt. 

Ross Test: I drank a fourth of the bottle. So. YES.

Posted on June 14, 2016 .

Ouled Thaleb Syrah


Ouled Thaleb Syrah
Region: Zenata, Morocco 
Year: 2011
Price: $16
Retailer: Silverlake Wine

I can't believe it's already August 11th, especially because I spent most of today believing it was the 10th. This summer has flown by, and is exemplified on the porch this evening as the sun begins to melt into the Pacific an hour earlier than it did just a month ago. 

But it's like I've always said, "Summer only ends if you let it."
And this wine will be perfect for summer time feels all year round.

It is a very light and smoky syrah that tastes like I need a cheeseburger or twelve and a lake house with a balcony to stare at the sunset over.  It's brisk, like you need a lightweight sweater or some baggy jeans to cozy up in before retiring to the fire with your friends. It feels like that smell. That BBQ smell that soaks up into your clothes and the salt that bakes into your skin and crunchy hair and you play Apples to Apples for hours before falling asleep in a bed that is not yours, but feels as though it could be. It is something so unfamiliar and so familiar all at once that there is no way to not feel at home with it all. 

And that is this syrah: classic but exciting. Like claiming a top bunk in a new cabin.

Tasting Notes: Fermented in concrete and aged in French Oak, this is everything I love about big reds in flavor but lighter in body. It's like ribs that fall off the bone: delicious and easy to eat. Smells like Molton Brown black pepper body wash and cherries. Tastes not like body wash. The palate is bright berries perfectly balanced with plush tannins and a warm, soft, long-lingering finish. 

Ross Test: A little bitter but still good. 

Posted on August 11, 2015 .

Valentine's Day Is About Love, Of Wine

Valentine's Day. A lot of people hate it, and I gotta say to those people: you're missing the point. You're of course right that this shit is trite as fuck and it doesn't matter, but who cares! It's a wonderful excuse to drink lots of wine with your loved ones, whoever that may be. Could be your signif'other or it could be your childhood best friend or it could be your mom or your cat or a Lush bath bomb. Doesn't matter. What matters is what always matters with holidays: WINE.

Take a date with one of these reds, and you'll be feeling the love in no time.

Evolution Red
Price: $15
Region: Oregon

This would be a great wine to share with a date, for a couple of reasons.

Let's start with the label. On the back, it has this funny infographic timeline that starts at "Amoeba Multiply" and covers historical moments like "T-Bone Perfected" and "Aliens Land And Build Pyramids", and finally ends in the era the call "Pretty Much Now" with a moment called "Pour. Sip. Evolve. Repeat." That alone is a great conversation starter. If the History Channel has taught me anything, it is that people have a lot of opinions on Aliens building pyramids.

Another great conversation starter: the legs. This wine has legs for days, which is always a nice segue to talk about your legs, or their legs, or someone's legs, and hopefully then you can talk about butts or tits or whatever you like that is stacked upon a human's legs. And then just bone down right there. JK. Actually, JK about JK cause that sounds like it could be a super hot.

ANYWAY, ok, if you don't get caught up in legs and hot sex, you could pair this wine with some really fun date dishes you could cook together. It's a really smooth Syrah blend that is bold up front and softly subsides into a lovely warm finish. Build some pizzas, grill some steaks, take a crack at your Grandmother's bolognese and fuck it up and just laugh and have more of that hot sex I was mentioning. 

On the other hand, I am alone drinking this right now, and I've never felt less alone. I've got Getz/Gilberto playing and I feel so warm and fuzzy and full of love. Open this bottle and eat some BBQ any day of the god damn week cause you need to love yourself all year.

Tasting Notes: Big cherries, cinnamon and tobacco

Ross Test: Surprisingly great. Usually things that good in a glass suck at chugging but, delicious! 

La Lunotte Les P'tites Vignes
Price: $20
Region: France
Year: 2013

This is my bath wine. I light my fancy candle (you know, the one you never light except to impress dinner party guests), put on some jazz, vigorously pour/throw bath salts like champagne in a 90's rap video, and serve this Gamay chilled. To myself. I serve it to myself. And I'm like, "Oh, thank you! You're so kind! I can't believe you're sharing this with meee!" 

It's such a pretty feminine color, but don't let that fool you. This ain't no L'Oreal Riche. It's a really bright, light, funky, and fun little number. It's Sex In The City in a glass, which is a tired comparison I'm incredibly embarrassed to be using, but I just started watching the show, so please just let me have this this one time.

Right off the bat, it's totally a Carrie with it's very fashion-forward funk. But then it has Miranda's restraint. And then it finishes soft like Charlotte's smile. But the whole time you're like AHHH I COULD FUCK THIS WINE! Cause it's a Samantha at heart.

Anyway, so this is the part of the post where I just go kill myself for that paragraph I just wrote.

Eh. Changed my mind. Not sure if there's wine in the afterlife.

Tasting Notes: Funky but balanced. Manure on the nose, and roses and pepper on the palate. But not at all overpowering. Very drinkable, and a new house staple for me.

Ross Test: Good, but a little much. 

Stolpman Vineyards Rosé
Price: $17
Region: California
Year: 2014

This wine is like a date that you thought was going to go badly, but ends up being awesome. You're like, "Wow, really glad I stuck around despite thinking he has been wearing the same cologne since 8th grade!"

If you couldn't tell, I am not a huge fan of this bouquet. It comes on sweet, the one thing that immediately puts me off with wine and men. 

Not that I thought my now boyfriend of nearly six years was wearing some CVS cologne when I met him, but he was sweet to me. He wasn't even annoyingly sweet, he was just "sweet" as in "how someone who respects another human and probably wants to put their dick inside them" kind of sweet. Like, good sweet. Really good, great, amazing, perfect sweet.

But to me, a legit kind of damaged human who was super into dudes who were super not into her cause hey, Dad stuff probably, I was like, "What is this? What do I do with this? I think I like this dude? Like a lot. But he's sweet I don't like sweet dudes why is he so sweet to me uhhhh I should probably keep seeing him cause I'm just not used to it and I think dudes are supposed to be sweet to ladies? And I'm a lady? OK maybe sweet is actually pretty cool, and has a super sharp witty side and isn't a weird softy that is obsessed with me and wants to hand-make me cards or marry me tomorrow, oh right cause the problem this whole time was me, this is actually just awesome."

The point is, you should give things a chance. Because despite a sweet bouquet, there's a good chance that there is a compelling and refreshing palate there that you are destined to hang out with forever. 

Tasting Notes: I'm mostly impressed by the minerality of this wine, because from that sweet nose, you're really not expecting it. And I love it. So yes, a wonderful minerality, plus crisp floral notes and a subtle hugging finish.

Ross Test: Enjoyable, and encouraged! 


Guys... gals, people, homies, readers! I'm sorry my natural inclination is to say "guys", but! The point is! Don't let Valentine's Day define you. YOU DEFINE VALENTINE'S DAY. It's a day that some random-ass human one day was like, "Oh this is a thing now", and now it's a thing; a weird mostly corporate bullshit thing that was super fun in second grade when everyone was required to give Valentines to the entire class. But what that thing is in your life now, is entirely up to you. So make it the best it can be. Make it an excuse to have a really fun day, no matter how you do it. Every day, whether it be a Hallmark holiday or not, is a day for you. And an opportunity for you to live your life just as you'd like to.

Hopefully with wine.

Wine Time: Harvest Girl Syrah

Wine Time reviews cheap wine with HG blogger Marissa A. Ross. This week’s review features Harvest Girl Syrah, as well as special guest Alexis DuPre (Jackie Johnson). Directed & Edited by Bennett Smith. Featuring “Siberian Girls” by Monster Rally. Catch more of Marissa and Alexis’ misadventures in Tangents & The Times: The Series.