Sunday, February 10, 2008


Tried 3 wines while out in BC last week. Turns out they are all from the same grape - Shyraz!! I got the name from a typo on the back label of one of the wines (the Argentine one), but it's actually not a bad moniker given the shiraz/syrah conundrum.
So, lets start with the Argentine - the Finca Flichman, Gestos, 2006 "Shyraz" was a bit of a disappointment. They blend shiraz from two zones, the higher Tupungato (a newer viticultural region in Mendoza) and the lower, more established Barrancas region. It's a young violet purple colour. The nose was initially off-putting - candyish bubblegum. Oh oh, I thought, but it blows off with time. Bright damson plums, slightly gritty mouthfeel, medium bodied - a simple, "OK" wine and disappointing. Way overpriced at $18.

I whipped across the border into Washington state one day to snowboard the 40 fresh centimetres of snow at Mt. Baker. On the way home I popped into a little shop for some coffee and saw a bottle of the Jacob's Creek, Reserve Shiraz, 2004 on the shelf. Yes, the one that got a "91" in the Wine Spectator. The price tag read $9.99. Worth picking up? Duh!! This sells for $19 in Quebec and $21 in BC. So, one hour later it was breathing in front of me along with some chili. Cassis on the nose, pure fruit palate supported by seamless tannins and a touch of black pepper. Medium-full bodied. No hint of complexity from barrel aging (something I like) limits it to a "good" rating, don't see how it got a "91", unless there's some bottle variation (which wouldn't surprise me - they make a crapload of this stuff). Well worth $10, but not $21.

Ok, last up is the best of the three. The Bridlewood, Syrah, Central Coast, 2004 is from California. By far the most complex of these wines, it has plums on the nose, a slick, smooth mouthfeel, black fruit with meat and leather notes. Interesting that they chose to call it "syrah", I think they were aiming for Rhone style rather than new world This is good stuff. Priced OK at $18...if I could get it for $9.99, I'd buy a trunk full!


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