Just Tasted | 2011 Odeon from Big Basin Vineyards
Big Basin Vineyards has stolen my heart… and I’m fine with that! I’m serious, they have outstanding wines. I personally love that they’ve broken free from the traditional Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay’s, that everyone tends to do here, and cooked up some great standout wines, such as Syrah, GMS, Cab and Rose – just to name a few. Don’t be alarmed, for those of you that hold dear to your Pinots and Chards, they do make those as well and they are pretty dang good!
I know we are here to talk about their 2011 Odeon, but I must divert for two seconds to rant and rave about their Rose… because you know my love affair with Rose. This one is AMAZING! It’s a bigger, in-your-face Rose, made from the traditional GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend of grapes and it’s packed with juicy flavor! At a tasting event in the vineyards, I honestly had to hold myself back from stealing the bottle out of the wine servers hand and drinking the entire thing on my own. It’s so good!
When these bottles get released each year, I’ve been informed that they tend to go fast. From personal experience, pick up a few (like a lot!) at the beginning of the season so you don’t run out. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to cry tears of sorrow for a bottle you have to patiently wait to have again NEXT YEAR! Sorry, I can get a little carried away about my Roses! Anyways, let’s get back to the 2011 Odeon.
The 2011 Odeon is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives it the dark berry flavor, rich cocoa and black pepper. I always love that peppery punch a Syrah brings to the table. When you drink that with a steak… heaven! On the nose you get hints of cedar, chocolate and again those dark berries.
Odeon is a pretty easy sipping wine, but it does even better with food. It definitely needs something to help mellow out a bit of those tannins, but it’s also not overpowering that it distracts from the flavors of what you are eating. There’s nothing worse than drinking a huge wine, to only have it render your taste buds numb and dry. As most traditional reds go, this does great with meat. Beef, steaks, lamb, BBQ are perfect! Also think a hearty stew, cheddar cheese, gouda, most things Italian or Spanish cuisine. All of my favorite stuff!
As you can see on the label, there’s a beautiful sketch of what appears to be an abstract structure. If any of you are familiar with Greek history, you would know that the Odeon was an ancient Greek or Roman structure used for music or poetry performances. I think that definitely says a bit about this wine, as it really puts on a great performance when it comes to the complex, smooth flavors. It’s a little rising star in the Silicon Valley wine world!
What’s even more interesting is that, as I mentioned, this wine is 50% Syrah. Syrah originated in France’s Rhone Valley, but can be traced back to its usage in wine from the Greek and Roman times. I imagine the “Greek gods” sipping away on this type of wine as they watch classical musicians and poets from the ancient days of old perform great masterpieces.
If you ever get a chance to stop in at Big Basin Vineyards, its a great time. They have two locations – their tasting room in Saratoga and the actual vineyard, hidden deep in the Big Basin Redwood State Park. The Vineyards is open on very specific dates or for reservations, so double check before making the long trip out there. The tasting room is conveniently located in downtown Saratoga and open every day of the week. There’s a nice patio looking out on the street, so it’s a nice relaxing stop to enjoys some of their great wines and watch people come and go.
The vineyards are beautiful, but a bit rugged. We had the opportunity to visit in the spring, for an event (the one where I enjoyed their Rose for the first time.) The whole thing was a blast and we toured the vineyards while sipping on wine and carefully watching for rattlesnakes. Yeah, they’re out there in the deep mountains! Speaking of Rattlesnakes, that’s another amazing wine from Big Basin Vineyards – the Rattlesnake Syrah. We managed to snag one of their last bottles when we stopped by the tasting room. I would say you should keep your eyes out for a review, but it will be about 2 more years until that bad boy is ready to be open. This falls perfectly on our 10 year anniversary. I’ve made my husband promise that our 10 year be EPIC, so I can’t guarantee a review or that I will be in the country… the guy still owes me a honeymoon 😉
2011 Odeon – 50% Syrah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon – $48.00
Nose: Cedar, vanilla mocha, dark berries
Palate: dark berries, cocoa, pepper
Foods to pair: Beef, steaks, lamb, BBQ, a hearty stew, cheddar cheese, gouda, most things Italian or Spanish cuisine.