Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can Antonio Galloni rescue California Syrah's image with a $1000 tasting?

For seven years, Robert Parker has been hosting a $1000 charity tasting of one type of wine at the CIA's Greystone campus. Usually he picks wines you might expect to pay $1000 to taste: California cult Cabernets, Bordeaux first- and second-growths, top wines from the Rhone Valley.

Antonio Galloni has taken over the tasting this year. And look what type of wine he chose:

California Syrah is a butt of many jokes on the wine circuit, especially from people who make and love it. One of my favorites was told to me by Randall Grahm: "How can you tell the difference between a case of Syrah and a case of the crabs? The crabs go away." So it's shocking to see Galloni choose it for the $1000 tasting.

Just on a financial basis, the event usually has 15-20 wines, and if it's California cult cabs, that's 15-20 wines with three-digit prices. How many California Syrahs are that expensive? How many should be?

Galloni will never have the influence Parker did in his prime because the wine world is fragmented with many voices now. But by virtue of being the Advocate's new California critic, he is a subject of fascination for California wineries and has a reservoir of influence to spend. It's an interesting way to spend it.

The event is on Oct. 16. There's also a BYOB dinner that night at Press that costs $1200. If you want to attend, call the CIA at 707-967-2400.

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Matt J - Sacramento said...

That's a bold and fantastic move by Galloni. There better be a handful of West Paso syrahs in this tasting.

John M. Kelly said...

Jeebus! Parker may have wanted to pour spendy stuff for his iterations of this event, but it appears that Galloni really UNDERSTANDS that this is a CHARITY! This is how you maximize the deductability of your "donation"!

Terre Rouge & Easton Wines said...

One of my favorites was told to me by Randall Grahm: "How can you tell the difference between a case of Syrah and a case of the crabs? The crabs go away."

It was a double pun; it was a case of Clape (syrah producer in Cornas and the sexually transmitted disease. Most people have not gotten the producer connection when I have seen it re-quoted.

Bill Easton

Unknown said...

Here's the Line Up:

Alban Vineyards Syrah “Reva,” 2008, Edna Valley, Central Coast
Araujo Syrah “Eisele Vineyard,” 2009, Calistoga, Napa Valley
Arnot-Roberts Syrah “Griffin's Lair,” 2010, Sonoma Coast
Colgin Syrah “IX Estate,” 2009, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Copain Syrah “Baker Ranch,” 2009, Anderson Valley, North Coast
Kongsgaard Syrah “Hudson Vineyard,” 2009, Carneros, Napa Valley
Paul Lato Syrah “Il Padrino, Bien Nacido Vineyard,” 2010, Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast
Piedrasassi Syrah “Rim Rock,” 2009, San Luis Obispo
Radio-Coteau Syrah “Las Colinas,” 2010, Sonoma Coast
Samsara Syrah “Melville Vineyard,” 2009, Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast
Sine Qua Non Syrah “The Duel,” 2008, Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast
Tensley Syrah “Colson Canyon,” 2009, Santa Barbara, Central Coast

Terre Rouge & Easton Wines said...

How about a Syrah that is not so coastal-centric: 2008 TERRE ROUGE Ascent Sierra Foothills?

Christopher said...

Not a single Paso Syrah in the lineup? Boo!

Jack Everitt said...

Wow, how can this tasting not have either 2009 DuMOL Jack Robert's Run or Eddie's Patch?

tercero wines said...

My guess is that we can all come up with wines that 'should' be included in the list of wines being poured, but there is probably a method to AG's madness with regards to these picks.

Bill has a point - the tasting SHOULD include something from up his way - and most likely his wine (-: And as far as Paso goes, I'd love to hear what straight syrah you might recommend? If this were a grenache blend tasting, there are numerous wines I might put in here, but I just don't the area well enough to come up with straight syrahs.

And even though there are quite a few selections from the Santa Barbaa County area, it would have been nice to see selections from both Ojai Vineyards and Qupe, two 'pioneers' for sure in our neck of the woods. A Block X syrah from Bien Nacido from Qupe would certainly fit in nicely with the mix.

Can't wait to read more about the tasting and how it goes . . .


Ortcloud said...

I think the joke punchline was bungled.

whats the difference between a case of syrah and a case of the flu ?

"you can eventually get rid of a case of the flu"