This wonderful Syrah is subtle and balanced with floral and cherry aromas. It enjoys a tasty core of wild
blueberry and cassis with notes of dark chocolate. The wine was aged in used French oak barrels to keep
the focus on the complex spice, berry and roast meat varietal character.
Blue and red plum, cherry, dark chocolate, white pepper.
This wine was crafted by Stephen Test, a veteran of nearly three decades of winemaking in Napa and
Sonoma. Before launching his eponymous winery in 2006, he worked at acclaimed wineries Merryvale and
Stonestreet. A boutique vintner who relies on traditional labor-intensive techniques, Test makes just four
microlot wines annually, each in quantities of less than 300 cases and all from some of the most coveted
vines in Napa and Sonoma. He looks to traditional, old-world wines for techniques and inspiration, and
works throughout the year with his grape growers to get the fruit fully ripe. The combination of ripe grapes
and traditional techniques makes possible the round, rich texture and the complexity and depth of flavor in
his wines. He says every wine has to be true to the greatest tradition of its type in the world. Then, at every
step, he crafts the wine so that it tastes good to him and hopefully to an appreciative audience.
Pair the Test Syrah with pork, veal or red meat of any sort, especially lamb and game, whose earthiness will
work well with the wine’s savoriness. Stews and hearty casseroles make excellent stick-to-your-ribs choices,
while grilling will add a bitter char to meats that will help offset this young wine’s tannins. Try earthy
accents like olives, lentils, mushrooms and root vegetables, or play to the wine’s fruit flavors with dried or
stewed fruits or chutneys.
Under Stephen Test, the Stonestreet and Merryvale wineries were both recognized as Wineries of the Year multiple
times by Wine and Spirits magazine. The next test will be to take Test wines to the same heights.