“Walking the Line” – Wine Review – 2006 Denner Syrah – Paso Robles, California


Before we realized it, the bottle had been taken from the table. This outdated vintage label will have to do for now, until I can track down another bottle on the retail level

Winery: Denner Vineyards

Bottling: 2006 Paso Robles Syrah

Region: California

Sub-Region: Paso Robles, California Central Coast

Estimated Retail Price: $38

Purchase Details: Ordered off of the menu at Roy’s Restaurant in Waikiki on the island of Oahu for around $75

Tasting Notes: If there’s anything this wine does perfectly, it’s walking the line between “balanced” and “over-the-top.”  While the 2006 Denner Paso Robles Syrah will probably still be over the top to many people, especially those who devote most of their drinking to wines from the old-country, it still had other attributes besides ripe fruit that made it an intriguing wine to me.

The nose was rich, nasal filling and sumptuous smelling.  Berries galore!  In the mouth, the wine just exploded.  There were loads of wild berry fruit, but also a ton of spice, hints of meat and dust and mineral.  This is the kind of wine what makes me say syrah is the perfect imperfect wine.  It’s a grape that can be refined, clean and classy, as well as rough and tumble, hard-edged and a little wild all at the same time.  This juggling of characteristics in itself makes for a complex wine.  One more thing; the finish was so long, it shouldn’t even be called a finish.  It didn’t really apply to this wine, because the flavors on my palate never went away, so I think the term “finish” for wines like this should just be called “forever?”  O.k., that’s my stoner thought for the day.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: I had this wine with short ribs braised in a sauce that probably had some dry red wine, port or both in it.  It was an amazing dish that was rich, meaty and refined.  It was delicious and could not have been a more perfect match with the Denner Syrah that actually shared the same familiar qualities.  As far as other food pairings are concerned, heavier meaty dishes are a no-brainer.  Pacific rim or fusion cuisine would be a great guideline as far as general pairings are concerned.  Dishes in this category consist of asian foods and cooking techniques with a medly of flavors and cuisines from other cultures.  That’s the best I could do to describe Pacific Rim, click here for a better explanation.

Winery & Other Background Information: Denner Vineyards is a relatively new winery to the Paso Robles area.  Its estate vineyards were planted in 1999 and encompasses 120 + acres of mostly Rhone varietals, syrah, grenache, etc.

The Denner family’s business background is in contruction and earth moving equipment dealerships.  Ron and Marilynn Denner are the proprietors and their son Brian is the winemaker.  Wish my dad decided to get into the winery business.  I’d have an instant dream job.  From the looks of the pictures on the website, they have a pretty slick operation going on with new state of the art buildings and equipment.

I’ve tried their other wines in the past and have found them to be as equally impressive as this syrah.  The other reds and whites are your typical Rhone blends of grenache, syrah, mourvedre, viognier and rousanne.  For all you score hounds, they’ve been getting pretty good nuimbers from both Parker and Spectator.  This in particular received 94 points from Spectator.

Pure deliciousness, seek their wines out.


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