Clos Saron Stone Soup Syrah with Steak and Flatbread, too!
Clos Saron is a small California winery I discovered this year. Their winemaking approach is to intervene as little as possible. The grapes are grown on their own roots, are dry farmed, and the vineyard is managed to organic and biodynamic principles. In the winery, they take as natural an approach as possible: no additions or subtractions, no racking, fining, or filtering. And, if possible, no sulfites. And they do it beautifully!
This wine, Stone Soup, is a food friendly Syrah. Low in alcohol (12.8%), good acidity, and no new oak.
This is a wine that cries out for food! When I tasted it shortly after opening, here’s what I noted:
- Deepest darkest red-purple in color.
- Aroma immediately on opening is leather and cedar spice. A more herbal note emerges over the next hour or two.
- Nice flavor, very dry, sort of European. Not voluptuous (good!). Seems like high acidity, kind of tart. Mouth coating tannins. Long finish. Winemaker’s description is spot on: intense, angular, tannic. Good!
This is a real food wine, all that “angular” nature disappears when you pair it with food. It was nice with cheese and bread. On to dinner!
We opened this wine on Saturday, in preparation for dinner on Saturday night. You don’t need much of a recipe for a nice food match, a nice steak on the grill provides a great complement. Tonight, we marinated a flank steak in italian dressing with some additional lemon juice and minced garlic. Add a simple baked potato and Caesar salad, and you are set!
This combination was superb; a real wine & food = click! With the steak, the wine’s fruit emerged, and the acidity cleansed the palate in between bites. This combination was better than either one alone.
There was wine left over on Saturday night, and I was looking forward to trying it on day two.
Flatbreads have become a real treat for a Saturday or Sunday lunch. Here’s how we matched Sunday lunch with the last of the Stone Soup.
The dough was my permanent on-hand supply, as shown in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It makes a great pizza dough, as well as daily fresh bread. Here’s the flatbread just before it went into the oven.
On day two, the more angular features of the wine from day one had disappeared. It was still nice and dry, and still a very good wine at the table.
When I first placed my order with the winery, I exchanged a few emails with Gideon Beinstock, the winegrower. He had told me to expect the wine to evolve over the course of 48 hours, due in part to the lack of sulfites. It was so nice, it was gone after 24. Next time, I hope to stretch it out a bit longer to enjoy its evolution!