There is a film fest originating in Banff Alberta Canada but also travels the world with select films to showcase the week long festival. This is probably my favorite film festival and I have been lucky to have been attending the smaller versions in many different locations over the last 12 years or so. The films focus on the great outdoors whether it be a short humorous film about snowboarders or an adventure film about being a wanderlust across Pakistan and India. These films always inspire me to find more adventure and increase my love for nature. This year we made it to the festival in Redlands California. Very cool venue and there was a really cool bistro and lounge a few doors down. I was skeptical not knowing how this bistro would be but it was close and the menu looked really good. The bistro, Lounge 22, seemed like a speakeasy style restaurant and lounge with a hint of moulin rouge. The food was spectacular and I ordered a glass of red wine I usually do not order. I am always a little hesitant with a wine that is 100% petit syrah. I have found those can be rather stringent, tannic, and acidic. Not my idea of something I would enjoy consuming. However, I felt adventurous and went for it! I ordered a glass of Spellbound Petit Syrah from Napa Valley 2012 vintage. I think the vintage is a bit young since this is the beginning of 2015 and this wine could stand up in bottle for a couple more years. However, I throughly enjoyed this glass of wine and was so happy our waiter recommended it.
Petite Syrah is actually a crossbreed of vines. The story goes that a french botanist around 1860, Francois Durif, had planted two grape varietals close to each other the Syrah grape, and the Peloursin grape (this varietal is almost extinct in France). Some how they cross pollinated and another vine started growing on his land, thus creating the Durif or Petite Syrah varietal. California, Australia, and Israel started focusing on growing this varietal outside of France and it has caught on in other countries as well.
Spellbound Petite Syrah 2012:
Nose: Plum, Cedar, Smoke, Chocolate, and Anise
Taste: Jammy plum, blackberry, tarragon, Cigar smoke, Bitter Chocolate, Carmel, and Rye.
This wine is big and bold with a lot of flavor. The tannins and acidity is smoothed out and not so in-your-face which I really can appreciate. The technique the winemaker (Rob Mondavi Jr., Third Generation of the Mondavi family) uses to reduce the big tannins is shortening the time the juice/grapes are in contact with the skins and stems as well as the fermentation time. This allows the wine to still have big bold flavor and capture all that the grapes have to offer but without the overpowering tannins. Very nice. I truly enjoyed and will be looking for a bottle soon.