Very nice flavor profile of dark fruits with lots of boysenberry and blackberry and a light hint of vanilla. Some velvety tannins give you a nice finish. Enjoyable now but this can be good for quite a few more years.
After I noticed earlier this year that the 2008 Dirt Worshipper (DW) may not be as great of a wine as it used to be, and someone else pointed it out on Cellar Tracker as well, I decided to do a mini vertical tasting, with the 2008, 2009 and 2011 vintage.
Here are some of my notes: 2008: purple hue, dark color, slightly hazy, aromatic aroma, still youthful in its development and clear blackcurrant and blackberry aromas, off dry, full-bodied, smooth acidity, low levels of and soft tannins, powerful flavor intensity, finish very long. 95+ 2009: ruby hue, deep color and some cloudiness, aromatic and youthful with blackcurrant, blackberry, pepper and bilberry, dry, medium body, crisp and lively acidity, medium and soft/round tannins, very flavorful, long finish. 93 2011: garnet hue, medium color depth, slight haze, very aromatic, youthful, aromas not clear, very dry, medium body and tart acidity. 92+
The 2011 DW was just released and it was clear that tart acidity needed to become softer. It was clear that this wine was still very young, somewhat uptight and in need for some cellaring. Everyone liked it. It was the first of the three we tasted.
The 2009 DW was smooth and soft and had complex aromas. Everyone like this more than the 2011. “Wow, this one is clearly better and lovely.”
The 2008 DW was a lot better yet! There was no doubt that it was the highlight of the evening.
Although it is possible that the 2008 DW is not as grand as it used to be, but it still reigns over the latest vintages. The five of us enjoyed the tasting and agreed with the ranking.
Enjoyed at Cucina Urbana in SD. (http://www.cucinaurbana.com/eat-drink) Right out of the bottle, there was a fair amount "zing" - maybe too much alcohol, maybe just releasing pent up fruits - but the wine settled in to its stride over the course of the meal. We got a predominance of red fruits with a mellow mouthfeel. There was considerable spice - almost like a big pinot. This is the first time I have tasted this wine and I did enjoy it, but for my palate, I think I still prefer Denner's "Ditch Digger." For me, "Ditch Digger" has more vibrant flavors than the "Dirt Worshipper." Of the four meals at our table, the Dirt Worshipper paired best with the fabulous Jidori chicken and the Brandt Farms burger; did not fare so well with the uber rich short rib pappardelle.
Mixed feelings on this one. Very attractive nose with lots of ripe fruit, but it is also close to being too much, and with a palate full of berries. This wine is balancing on the edge. Too much or elegant? I opened the bottle a night in advance.
Brought to a restaurant, pretty much pop and pour, although we let it sit in the bottle for 15-20 minutes... We have had the 09 before, we went to the release party, the 06 was better that night, but the 09 was very good. Last night the 09 wasn't as I remembered it, it was a bit more transparent in color, a bit lighter in body than I remembered. Wasn't perfect with the steak, but it still very good! It definitely needs another year or more, I will wait on the other bottles until then...
A massive wine and to me a textbook case of how Viognier sometimes boosts the Syrah varietal. There is a lot of everything in this effort, yet there is nothing over the top. The fruit is pure and clean, tannins and acidity are nicely integrated. Tonight this effort is somewhat one-dimensional but I have no doubt it will develop into something astonishing with time. (score is 93-95)
December, 2011 - The 2009 Denner Syrah The Dirt Worshipper doses out a healthy serving of blue and black fruits, peppered beef, iodine, spice and hints of vanilla bean. This wine is dense, concentrated and shows nice underlying minerality along with a lengthy fruit filled finish. The 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier is sourced from 65% Bassetti Vineyard, 35% Denner Vineyard and is aged 18 months in 65% new French, 10% new Hungarian and 25% neutral barriques. (Drink 2012-2020) – JD
Popped and poured from the wine refrigerator - so dark and yet a bit of transparency. Very jammy nose and then SURPRISE! Sharp, bright, tight on the palate. So much fun to pass around and go from nose to palate! This will be amazing to try 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or more later. Stems up!
A different personality than the 2008. Pours slightly transparent. Tight plum and lemon essence on the nose with underlying sweet tobacco, medium weight palate, extremely soft and plush, with a tight finish of plum and vanilla. As with the 2008, you get these great citrus highlights from the 5% Viognier. With all this said, as of today, this is still really closed and tight, just barely showing off. It's either a slight case of bottle shock (just shipped from Denner) or it just needs a few more months in the bottle. I'll add my second round of tasting notes in spring 2012.
-- Consumed at at cellar temp: 60°-65° F. Friends don't let friends drink red wine at room temp!