Clear, medium ruby with a bit of purple on the rim. Clean, almost-medium intensity nose of berry, cherry, and oak. Dry, with medium acidity, tannins, and body. Austere, woody black and red fruits in the mouth; medium length. Medium-plus length with some slightly evolving black cherry flavours. 14% alcohol—ouch. Overall good, if a bit severe; if this is your thing then by all means. It’s going to be a bit heavy for the summer-ish vegan fare I’m eating with it, whereas fruitier Aussie Shirazes tend to play well with my diet. Still, I can see myself going back to this in another season or with a seitan and mushroom dish.
$25 at Crosstown. See De Martino and the winemaker’s notes (PDF).
There still aren’t a lot of organic wines available, but I try to pick them up when I see them. I remember enjoying a few bottles from Bonterra while I lived in California in the late 1990s (and see my notes on their 2006 Chardonnay on my old site).
This one is deep ruby red in the glass, and has an appealing, medium intensity nose of black fruit and oak-vanilla sweetness and spice. In the mouth, dry with medium acidity and tannins. There’s a bit of heat from the 13.9% alcohol, surrounding sour cherries, currants, and again the wood and spices. Appealing, if not complex; decent length with a finish that just tails off a bit. Overall good, and as always I’m tempted to say the fruit is a bit more forward in the organic wines, which gives this a boost.
$26.50 at Crosstown. See Bonterra Vineyards (warning: Flash site) and the winemaker’s notes (PDF).
Clear, medium ruby red appearance. Clean, medium intensity sweet blackberry and pepper nose. Dry, medium-plus acidity and appealing medium tannins in a light body. Spice comes through in the mouth with a bit of heat from the 14.2% alcohol; lots of ripe fruit and a good medium-length finish with a bit of sweetness and spice. Overall good; quite enjoyable, and recommended. $38 at Marquis Wine Cellars. See Kokomo Winery.
Clear, pale ruby in the glass. Clean, medium intensity nose with a mix of red and black fruit, spice and earth. Dry, medium acidity and tannins and a light-ish body. Black fruits and pepper in the mouth with the latter working with the tannins to produce a real sharpness, receding to a medium length finish of spice and leaning back towards a bit of a raspberry character. Overall good; appealing but will have to try more French Syrahs for comparison. 13% alcohol. Apparently has Braille on the label! $32.50 at Crosstown. See M. Chapoutier.