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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

MaryAnn Had a Little Lamb, with Syrah

Beckmen Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: February 25, 2010

At the intersection of my love of wine and my love of cooking is, of course, my love of cooking with wine. Some of my favorite recipes use plenty of vino—whether to deglaze, marinade, braise or poach.

Over the weekend, I tried out a new one—lamb shoulder chops seared before marinating them in red wine with some rosemary springs for a few hours. Then the dish is slowly braised in the wine marinade.

Lamb has such an intense flavor, I knew I needed something rich to stand up to it—both as a marinade and as a pairing. The Beckmen Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007 ($30) was a good match; its concentrated and detailed flavors absolutely stood up to the challenge. It was delicious, with plenty of herb, licorice and berry flavors and a firm structure on its own—and it infused the meat with a hearty red-wine flavor. 89 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Beckmen Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007 (89, $30).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among recently rated California Syrahs.

Gerald Ansel
Fullerton, Calif —  February 26, 2010 5:40am ET
That's a great pairing, MaryAnn. I have always felt lamb and Central Coast Syrah was a combination made in heaven.
John B Vlahos
Cupertino Ca. —  March 1, 2010 1:14pm ET
MaryAnn, we will be hearing a lot more about Beckmen wines in the future, I suggest. I recently opened a 2005 Beckmen Grenache that was outstanding, and it probably could have improved for several more years.

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