Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shiraz/Syrahs Focus Group Tasting

2005 Innocent Bystander Shiraz-Viognier.
This seemed liked it was a bit over the hill. The color was a deep garnet with slightly browned edges. The palate had a nice balance and texture/mouth feel. It had a long finish. There was some white pepper and blueberries. The alcohol was a tad high. Seemed a bit oxidized but still nice. Just surprising it was a 2005. 88/100

2007 Sonoma Vineyards Syrah.
Young and vibrant. Darker and more purple tinged in color. A great nose of black pepper and blackberries. The palate had a wonderful mouth feel of lush red & black fruits. I really enjoyed this one. The finish was a bit short, but that was the only negative I can come up with. 90/100

2007 Zontes Footsteps Shiraz-Viognier.
Funky nose that dissipated after a few minutes. Very intense red fruit profile. This reminded me of a Barossa Shiraz. Very dark and brooding and a bit of saltiness present. This was a bit unyielding but interesting 87/100

2006 Hyland Penley Estate Coonawarra Shiraz.
Bright red fruit. Nice balance. Some tar and petroleum along with a bit of dirt. There are some nice reddish fruits of cherries and pomegranate. The mouth feel is a bit tart and sweet to my liking. 85/100

2004 Kunde Estate Sonoma Valley Syrah
We have arrived firmly in California. Great color. The nose had some wonderful blueberries and soy. This is a very big and at the same time elegant wine. The palate showed off some great black pepper, dark blueberry pie, and soy sauce. A little more bottle age and this will surely rock. Puts me in mind if the PAX Sonoma Coast wines.

2006 d’Arenberg The Stump Jump GSM.
Floral and fragrant with lots of perfume, this had a good red color. This was very different in its attack: some very soft red fruits were way up front. Cherries and pomegranate mixed with asphalt and flowers. Soft is the word here. Good balance, but not my cup ‘o tea. 86/100

2005 d’Arenberg d’Arrys Original Shiraz Grenache
Very strange nose of chemical and plastic. Unbalanced and awkward, this had a tart mouth feel and was sweet and salty. Not good. N/A

2006 Kilikanoon Killermans Run Shiraz Grenache
Dark red and black fruit profile of blackberries and Chinese apples. Nice mouth feel and texture. Some soy and dirt mixed in with some floral notes. This had so much going on at so many levels. Would be great with food. Long finish. 92/100

2006 d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz McLaren Vale
Dark and exotic, this brought to mind a cabernet touch. Wonderful dark cassis and kirsch, black cherries and scorched earth made this a real winner of the night. Lots of structure and pizzazz with the long smooth finish you would hope for. What a surprise when unveiled. It reminded me of Brokenwood’s graveyard Vineyard Shiraz at 5x the price. Well done! QPR Indeed. 94/100

2006 Kilikanoon Killermans Run Shiraz South Australia
Dark and brooding I the glass, this had a pure black style fruit profile of blackberries and currant with some more kirsch. It was like the Footbolts younger brother. It had the elegance and structure. Nice. 90/100

2006 Four Vines Killer Canyon Paso Robles Syrah
Here’s where things go pear shaped in this 4th and final flight. Totally different than the last two, this had some nice balance and structure with some tart cherry, burnt cedar, pomegranate and blackberries. I had this pinned for an Aussie Cadenzia, but was wrong at the unveiling. A wow wine in its own right, but very different from the other two it had been grouped with. 92/100