Seven Syrahs


Seven Syrahs

A few days ago I wrote about a blind tasting of South African Syrah. These are the other Syrahs we tasted blind, alongside the South Africans. There was no logic to the choices: it’s just what we brought along. I was really impressed by all these wines: when Syrah is good, it’s such an interesting variety.

Sami Odi V7 NV Barossa, Australia
This is a solera-style wine from the Barossa blending together four vintages. Old vines, low yielding, early picked. This is sweet and ripe with sweet black cherry fruit with a hint of menthol and some structural elements meshing seamlessly with the sweet fruit. 92/100

Domaine des Miquettes Saint-Joseph 2017 Northern Rhône, France
This is whole bunch fermentation (3 week maceration) and then ageing in Spanish amphorae (tinajas). Intense, vivid black cherry fruit with lovely freshness. Has good structure with supple fruit. Such lovely structure here. 95/100

Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz 2004 Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
Meaty and dense with spice and iodine notes as well as layered black fruits. Some fine cherry notes, too. Salty and multidimensional with ripeness but also purity. A lovely wine. 95/100

Rouchier Saint-Joseph ‘La Chave’ 2016 Northern Rhône, France
No added sulfites. Bright, vivid and peppery with sweet cherries and plums. Taut and quite restrained with raspberry and cherry fruit but also a savoury, peppery structure and some tight, reduced notes. Such an interesting wine. 93/100

Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne 2007 Northern Rhône, France
Savoury and a bit earthy, showing a bit of age. Quite classic with some black pepper and supple cherry fruit. Medium bodied, showing ripeness but also balance. Sleek, with nice savouriness. 93/100

Piedrasassi Syrah 2009 Santa Barbara County, California
Meaty, spicy and earthy with dense structure under the sleek black fruits. Has developed in interesting ways with nice sweet fruit. 93/100

Luke Lambert Reserve Syrah 2007 Yarra Valley, Australia
This is Luke’s first vintage, from a smoke-affected year, apparently, although this wine doesn’t seem to show it. Sweet, pure and with nice green hints to the concentrated, fresh, raspberry, cherry and plum fruit. Supple with lovely black fruit character. 94/100

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