#3 Reserve De L’aube Syrah-Merlot


Winery: Père Anselme
Country: France
Vintage: 2007
Price: $6.99

Wine # 3 in the $100 Wine Challenge.

Cynthia’s Review

I was really prepared to like this wine, especially after enjoying the Pére Anselme Rose ( wine # 1). Building upon our previous experiences, I actually read the label prior to drinking the wine.  The label contains the following recommendation: “Enjoy with barbecue, pizza, simple foods”. Perfect ! We were headed out to one of our favorite local restaurants, which charges a modest $1 corking fee, and I knew that I was going to order one of their specialties- spicy eggplant pizza- so this wine seemed like it would be a perfect fit ! When we first opened the wine, I had a few sips, and it seemed quite nice.  I was prepared to enjoy it with my meal, but sadly, the flavor kind of fell apart when paired with the spicy peppers and onions of the pizza.  I can’t imagine why this wine would be recommended with pizza- or anything spicy for that matter.  As a “stand alone” wine- just to have something to sip, or with something like a bland cheese and crackers, I guess this wine would be fine, but paired with anything strong, it just didn’t stand up.  Sadly, I think I’m going to have to vote “nay” on this wine.

Jay’s Review

I was intrigued by the blend. I like Syrahs well enough. I wasn’t all that certain about the Merlot aspect though. The first sip was nice. The wine was not overly aggressive. Quite smooth, in fact. But the story rapidly changed once I took a bite of my salad. Things got very agitated very quickly. I dismissed it as a likely consequence of the oil and vinegar dressing. I had a piece of bread and things settled down again. On to the main course, some chicken with pasta and spinach. Again the wine just didn’t want to cooperate. I think this is my first experience with a poor pairing of wine and food. It was just not meant to be. By itself, a pleasant wine but with food of any character whatsoever it’s not so enjoyable. I think if drank as a stand alone, or with some mild cheese and crackers it would be just fine. I give it a “yay” with a warning to steer clear of anything but the mildest of flavors in pairing with food.

6 thoughts on “#3 Reserve De L’aube Syrah-Merlot

  1. I’m guilty of not warning my brave buddies about pairing food with this wine…don’t. Its a nice everyday wine but most vin de pays (French table wine) do not have enough depth to deal with most foods (although there are exceptions). Also, spicy anything and syrah are a recipe for disaster [sorry guys…my bad 🙁 ]. This is a light, dry school-night wine that’s just dead in the water when it comes to food pairing.

  2. Collina’s has the $1 corkage fee.

    And to be completely fair, Gerald may have said it was a school night wine. We’re getting on in years and the mind isn’t the steel trap it once was when it comes to retaining information.

  3. With pizza don’t you want something heavier like a full-on Merlot, or just say the hell with it and go for Yellowtail. I’m more of a pepperoni guy, so I’m going to be beating up my taste buds anyway.

  4. @bjacques you are right sir, pizza usually requires a bit more heft and dryness. Go for a inexpensive merlot or a rosso (Italian style red blend usually sangiovese heavy). The Ca Momi they have in this assortment is a great pizza wine. You really need the weight and dryness to compete with the pizza. However, be very careful of syrah/shiraz and spicy food. Spicy wine + spicy food = I need water!!

  5. eh… i just made some really spicy sausage and peppers thing and had nothing to drink in my dorm… i found my reserve de’ laube in my wardrobe and drank… I had a quarter of the bottle left and i usually drank it when i was doing homework by itself. I agree just drink it alone… it tastes fine that way but with food it’s not that great.

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