Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Drink of the Week: Cycles Gladiator 2006 Central Coast Syrah

While a label donning a naked woman gliding through the air with a winged bicycle was enough to convince a friend of mine to pluck this bottle of California Syrah from the grocery store shelf recently, what captivated me was the grace and suppleness of the wine inside the bottle. Softer and more delicate than the super-juicy, and sometimes over-extracted fruit-bombs typical of many California Syrahs, the grapes for this Monterey County red ripen slowly on the vine amid the fog and salty air of California’s Central Coast, creating a more subtle nose of ripe raspberries; round, sophisticated flavors of bright, red fruit; and a soft finish of delicate oak and vanilla. We paired this sinuous Syrah with a hearty veggie lasagna, but it’s versatile enough to open with just about any dish. And at about $10 a bottle, you can even afford to open a second bottle. cyclesgladiator.com —Tracy Howard