Wednesday, June 29, 2005

3 Reds: California Syrah, Canada Meritage, Rhone Syrah/Mourvedre

WOODBRIDGE SYRAH 1999 (ROBERT MONDAVI), Lodi, California, 13.5% D, #594176 $13.95

The LCBO says: "Deep ruby; spicy sweet plum, blueberry and cassis nose with light gamey notes; dry, with sweet fruit, soft tannins; good length, easy drinking style. Burritos, tacos or other spicy meat dishes." The Woodbridge website says: "Blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Barbera, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon - the wine explodes with jammy layers of black cherry, blueberry and plum. Nuances of dark chocolate and crushed spices... rich, inky color, seductive aromas, and intense, velvety flavors come from Syrah grapes that are primarily grown in Lodi’s deep alluvial soils. .... compatible with boldly flavored foods.... barbecued ribs with blackberry glaze, pepper-crusted steak or grilled lamb kebabs with onions and peppers." My notes: Cellared February, 2002 and has thrown some sediment. A warm plummy nose with a light oakiness and cassis note. Almost opaque red. Flavours are a soft plummy velvet with a metallic edge - not unpleasant rather full and complex. The finish lastsss.... A steak or grilled rib wine rather than a sipper although it would be great with full flavoured cheeses, smoked oysters or italian sausage pieces. This is a General listing.

HAWTHORNE MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS MERITAGE 1998, Okanagan, BC, 13.0% XD, #440628* $17.90

The label says: "Classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Full rich flavours of blackberry, cherries and plum are followed by lots of tannin and full-bodied finish. Serve with barbequed meats, roasts, stews, pasta dishes, flavourful cheeses, great with game. Unfiltered and decanting is suggested." My notes: Cellared February, 2002 A full warm cedar and berry nose with a spicy edge. Colour is a deep almost opaque ruby and flavours of cherries and blackberry integrated with a tannic acidity. Slightly drying on the tongue but a long warm berry finish. A full-bodied sipper that slows you down to savour its depth. Have with any grilled or bbq'd red meat, game or hamburgers. *No longer listed.

TORTOISE CREEK SYRAH/MOURVEDRE 2001, Pays d'Oc, France, 12.5% XD, CP144-2259 $10.75

Opimian says: "..complexity and finesse take a front seat with masses of .. damson, blackcurrant and ripe black cherries. Acerbic spice flavours .... ripe tannin .. fading to soft, ripe generous tone. Length is good etc. Lay down six months to two years." My notes: Cellared November, 2002 and initially quite boring until now. The colour is a deep ruby and nose is of soft berries and light oak. Flavour is medium- to full- with a good balance of berries, plums and tannin. The acid goes well with a full flavoured meat dish: spicy tacos, hamburgers, grilled ribs, steaks. A medium, soft finish. A good value food wine worth the wait. Available from Opimian.

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