Happiness is knowing that the spring shipment of Dunning Vineyards is coming tomorrow! In case you missed it that last couple of times I mentioned it, I'll go ahead and state again that Dunning was one of our 2-3 favorite wineries we visited on our trip to Paso Robles in 2009 and a darn fine B&B to boot. I highly recommend this as a base camp on your next excursion to California's Central Coast.
In anticipation of our shipment arriving tomorrow (and the lamb skewers on the grill) I pulled the cork on a 2005 Dunning Vineyards Private Reserve Syrah, Paso Robles tonight. I've had their 2007 Syrah on numerous occasions, but as far as I can recall this is my first/only experience with the '05 vintage. This particular wine is inky black in color with a complex nose of kirsch, pencil lead, vanilla, toasted French oak and a distinct meatiness not necessarily common to Paso Robles Syrahs. The palate is all about the interplay of massive tannins, 15.2% alcohol, sweet cherry fruit and the acidity that keeps everything perfectly in balance. Not for the faint of heart or oakophobes, but a very nice choice to accompany grilled lamb skewers with a spicy teriyaki glaze. Very reasonably priced around $30.