Dolce Drinks

January 2013


Sooner or later in the wine business someone is going to give you a bottle of wine to try for your opinion. When this happens it is always with a mix of flattery and fear. Invariably the giver has expectations for the receiver to extol the virtues of said “gift” and sometimes that is not an easy thing to do.

Today I can rest easy with the results of a Christmas bottle from friends along the mainline in PA. They bestowed upon me a bottle of the 2009 Kieran Robinson, “Vivo Vineyard” Syrah complete with press kit.

As the story goes, Kieren Robinson’s passion for winemaking took  him from humble beginnings in the AVA’s of New York and Pennsylvania to the Cotes du Rhone in France. From there Kieren took work at Cakebread Cellars and Paul Hobbs in Napa. Like a good chef, good winemakers learn from varied experiences. Still working for other, Kieren has also released his first label.

The 2009 Kieren Robinson, “Vivo Vineyard” Syrah is Kieren’s first release. This maiden voyage is styled like a classic Northern Rhone and is still tightly wound in its youth. There are smoked meat and game characters on the nose with a bramble of dark berries. On the palate the wine is lush and has blackberry fruit surrounded in dusty cocoa powder. It has a nice wood spice and tannin that will sustain the wine for a bright future. The wine comes up a bit short in the mid palate but I imagine that a bit of time in the bottle will bring all that together.

Kieren’s first release is impressive and I look forward to tasting other wines as his operation grows. There were only 300 cases of the Kieren Robinson, “Vivo Vineyards” Syrah made and I believe the only way you can get a bottle is through his web site or having friends on the mainline in Philadelphia. Crazy how wine gets around!