Archive for the 'Syrah/Shiraz' Category

2006 Orin Swift Cellars “The Prisoner”

As Sean had written, the visit to the Orin Swift office in St. Helena was a bit of a challenge to finally make it to, however this wine made the journey worthwhile.

The 2006 Prisoner has added 2% Grenache to the blend of Zinfandel(51%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Syrah (12%), Petit Sirah (6%) and Charbono (6%). While that’s interesting, it’s the end product that shines through.

Like many of the great 2006 Zins/Zin blends we had during our journey, the Prisoner has a vibrant blackberry and ripe plum on the bouquet, which opens into briar and with some dark chocolate in the mix. There is loads going on here.

Besides the bliss of finally being in wine country, a few tasty sips showed big rich plum and briar again with gorgeous coffee and cracked black pepper. The finish went on and on with earthy cassis, more dark chocolate and a hint of mint later on. We agreed, – gorgeous stuff.

Back home in Vancouver, this wine retails for $49.99. This is a kick in the pants considering it goes for $28-32 in California, however I can’t deny that even at this price point it is full value for the money.

The Prisoner is a fantastic bottle of wine – give yourself a present!

4 1/2 stars
(along with some happily stained teeth).

1 comment

2005 Joe Blow Wine Cellars Red, California

11282007.jpgThe bottle says, “This wine is serious! The name is not.”… and you know what? I like the fun attitude they’re putting out there with a statement like that. This wine really is just plain tasty. It’s a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What all that adds up to is a juicy and completely unpretentious glassful of sippin’ fun. The colour is a deep and dark red… the nose is a complex bunch of tobacco, dark fruit and licorice. A tip o’ the glass gives up a nice bunch of brambly dark berries, licorice and a long dark chocolate-edged finish.

When you see a bottle like this, you may just dismiss it as a California version of a “critter” wine… but it’s more than that. For the price, it’s fantastic. It’s actually got some complexity and depth.

I like it. This is my new house red. ‘Nuff said.

$17 in LDB stores here in BC.

3 1/2 stars

1 comment

2005 Orin Swift Cellars “The Prisoner”

06042007.jpgIt’s been a little while since I had this bottle… and the thing is, I liked it enough that I can almost taste it when I think about it. The 2005 is a bit more of a wine than the 2004 I had back in December. Wine Spectator recently gave it a huge 93-point rating.

It’s firmly ensconced in the “New World” wine camp. It’s huge and luscious with a tonne of coffee/toffee-laced ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit, finishing with a spicy chocolate edge. It’s well-structured and balanced… it really is great stuff.

If I likened the 2004 to “a hearty fire, a warm blanket paired with a warm and sexy companion“, this wine would be the outcome of snuggling under that blanket. Sexy stuff.

The blend is 48% Zinfandel, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% Charbono and it all adds up to a lot of flavour. It’s positively Zinfandel-istic. Yum.

$49.99 in LDB stores here in BC.

4 1/2 stars

No comments

2004 Terramater, Maipo Valley Zinfandel Shiraz

02162007.jpgChilean Zinfandel – now that’s a little different. However given the great wines coming from Chile of late, I thought: “let’s try it.”

The wine is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Shiraz. It’s deep and dark in colour with a tobacco leaf and briar nose. Nice start. From there the wine was interesting, yet not overwhelming. A body of plum, blueberry and a bit of date in the mouth which reflected the influence of both grapes. As the evening went on, the finish remained a little boozy with some raisin and soft oak, but brief.

Not bad on the whole. In general the fruit was pleasant, with the short finish being really the only slight drawback. This is another nice value.

$14.99 at Liberty Wine Merchants

3 1/2 stars

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