Planeta 2005 Syrah, $27.99, 91 is absolutely an experience in wine tasting! A wonderfully different Syrah from the West Coast of Sicily, uniquely rich and yet approachable, having a crushed peppery long finish and a pleasant aroma. Even at the somewhat higher price, this is a great value for those looking for something outside the box in a Syrah-Shiraz.
Jim Barry 2007 Shiraz Lodge Hill Clare Valley, $17.99, 90, is a powerful red wine, this remarkably consistent and complex Shiraz simply will not quit; big, bold, and bright, the 2007 has a story to tell, of its high rocky elevation and cool temperatures that stingily produce low-yield grapes bursting with intense fruit flavor, with notes of licorice and chocolate, as well as hiding many other flavors for the mature wine taster, and having a long finish of spice complimenting your biggest sauces and meats.
Gallo Family Sonoma Reserve 2005 Syrah, $8.99, 89 points, was a big surprise for me. I've found a focused Syrah of plum and dark berry, and simply awash in a fair peppery finish, only a fair aroma, but a medium bodied richness that impresses right up to a late palate lusciousness that is most pleasant. This wine has been in my cellar for some time eluding my tasting, but gratefully I found it hiding, and hiding no more. Big buy in my book.
Marquis Philips 2007 So.E. Australia Shiraz, $15.29, 87 points, and a fair price for such a big wine. It held-up nicely for three days, but at times was a bit bitter; maybe with a year or two in the cellar some of that bitterness might mellow-out, but as is, the Marquis Philips was a good, typically bold Australian Shiraz that paired well with beef, and would make a great red wine for the barbecue.
Moshin California central Coast 2000 Syrah, $14.99, 87 points, smoothly goes down, for this quaffable, and fruity red wine (having mellowed tannins combined with 13.6% alcohol), characterized by its easy drink-ability, identifies this as a California Syrah vs. the the heavy bodied, alcohol driven Australian Shiraz (not all, I know). Though I found the 2000 a bit too tame for me, as it reminded me of a good aged Columbia Valley Merlot. I still recommend this wine, but I would like to try the 2007 vintage as a comparison.
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