Thursday, June 08, 2006

Shiraz or Syrah?

See that black cork lurking in the (out-of-focus) background? That's what I look for when I pop the cork (I like concentrated wines....). This rule of course does not always hold - sometimes those pink-tinged corks seal wines that are lovely and woody-chewy too!

Tonights experiment was the Columbia Crest, Two Vines, Shiraz 2002. What is a little different about this wine is it's designation as Shiraz instead of Syrah - the americans seem to prefer the latter. Of course, it's the same grape, the prize of Hermitage in the Rhone Valley of France. The Australians like to call it Shiraz, and they make it in a completely different style than the French - more in your face as opposed to subtle. The yanks make it both ways, and I can see from the initial gulp of this wine why Columbia Crest calls this one shiraz. CC is a good winery from the Columbia Valley way north of california and I have enjoyed their Cabs and Merlots previously. Usually good price:quality ratios. Anyways, this was a fruit jam bomb for the first 30 minutes, nothing subtle here. I had to then go out and play hockey (what??? in the summer???), so it got to sit for 2 hours. Unfortunately, with time, it loses it's jammy appeal and becomes a little thin on the palate ("weak" as Joel would say). So, the Verdict - It's an OKAY wine, better chug it quick rather than linger over the whole evening. Value: marginal at $15. You can do better.