Tuesday 17 April 2012

The Syrah Battle Continues

Yesterday it was Rodericks turn to challenge our taste buds. All six wines were tasted double blind, and after the usual swirling, tasting and spitting it was unanimous that we had Syrah or Syrah blends before us.
And that what it turned out to be. There were pretty big differences between the Rhone wines and those from Australia, not just vintage wise but mostly structure wise. Great tasting - thanks Roderick!

1990 Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne, Chapoutier
I just have to admit it - I have rarely been impressed with the wines from this estate, and that includes the bigger names with bigger price tags and even bigger Parker points. They don´t speak to me like for instance Guigal´s prestige wines. But to each his own.
The nose is a touch feeble and the fruit that emerge from the glass is warm, from time to time, even cooked. There is plums, dark earth, dry chocolate and some leather aromas. Friendly but rather uninteresting.
The taste is mature, warm and a touch foursquare with notes of sweet lingonberries, warm earth, balsa wood and dry leather. The finish is medium long but a tad hollow. All in all, an ok wine but for me, this is dull.
83p   (tasted 2012/04)

2001 Côte-Rôtie La Sereine Noire, Mathilde et Yves Gangloff
An interesting new acquaintance for me. This C-R starts of with an intense, deep and complex nose with notes of lingonberries, black peppered meat, dried flowers, violets and Italien salami. A fine, almost ethereal nose. An interesting note of clotted blood...:-) Great.
The taste is tight, medium big and very fine with notes of sweet lingonberries, rasberries, white peppar, the same kind of salami as on the nose, and rosehips. A lovely structure. This is a stunning bottle of Côte-Rôtie.
According to Berry Bros it  includes the local Syrah clone, Serine - http://www.bbr.com/producer-1436-yves-gangloff
94p   (tastted 2012/04)

1991 Hermitage Les Bessards, Delas Freres
A big, mature, rounded nose with lots of soft, sweet red fruit and fine notes of black pepper, dry chocolate, forest floor and band aid. The band aid note comes and goes, and when it really show itself, it is a bit too much. But otwerwise, very good.
The taste is less mature than the nose with lots of sweet red cherries, rasberries, dry licorice, forest floor and a touch, but just a touch here, of band aid. A long, fresh and interesting finish. This is in a great drinking phase right now.
90p   (tatsted 2012/04)

2002 Amon-Ra
To quote Monty Python - "now over to something completely different"...! The nose is big, big and big, with notes of toothpaste, blackberry jam, dark chocolate mousse, mint and vanilla oak. But its hard not to be impressed by its structure. Its not flabby in any way. Very, very deep.
The taste is big, compact and powerful with wave upon wave of blackberries, rasberries, dades, sweet licorice and cherry liquor. And here is the problem, that liquor taste goes all the way through the finish and ends up with a obvious alcohol feeling. The fruit is big and brawny and gorgeous. The structure, beneath the fruit, is fine. But the alcohol at the end ruins it for me. Too bad.
88p   (tasted 2012/04)

2003 Goose-Yard Block Shiraz, Schubert Estate
Another new estate for my taste buds, and a very good one at that! The nose is just stunning in its combination of power, sweetness and refinement. Lovely notes of seared meat, rasberries, summer flowers, Valrhona chocolate, leather and moist forest floor. A delightful warmth. Very, very deep. This is sooo good on the nose!
The taste is equally fine with lots of concentration, power and structure. Gorgeous notes of sweet lingonberries, rasberries and blueberries with some chocolate, flowers and peppery notes. The label states the same alcohol strength as the Amon-Ra, but you can´t feel it anywhere in the taste. Brilliant. Shared WOTN with the Gangloff.
94p   (tasted 2012/04)

2002 The Factor, Torbreck
This third Barossa Shiraz is the most closed one. The nose is tight, compact and big with notes of warm rasberries, rosehips, scorched earth and dark chocolate. Very deep. Doesn´t have the upfront sweetness as the two others. Very, very good. Some garrigue notes after a while.
The taste is very focused and structured with a lovely sweet fruit. Notes of blackberry liqcuor, pipe tobacco, sweet licorice, chocolate and summer flowers. Very, very long. This also hides the alcohol in a great way. A luscious, fine wine.
92p   (tasted 2012/04)


  1. Almost a carbon copy of my notes and points, but you must have exchanged 5 and 6! And I am more a Chapoutier fan than you. Great tasting anyway, should buy some Aussies now and then.

  2. Yes, one should Håkan - as long as one stay away from the soy sauce wines, aka Noon, Greenock Creek and others...:-)

  3. It gives me great pleasure serving 2(!) wines you haven't drunk before. I agree with the descriptions although my scores on Les Bessard and Amon Ra came in higher, not surprisingly. For me the Goose Yard Block was WOTN, incredibly powerful still. I have one bottle left, it would be very interesting having a mature Goose Yard Block 2003, but I don't think that will ever happen. Anyone interested in selling a bunch of these, I am a taker.
    / Roderick

    1. Thanks again, Roderick! Nice tasting as always - and two more notches on the belt! :-)