Next up tonight was a big Syrah from Cline in California - Cline 2003 Los Carneros Syrah, 15% alcohol. The nose had gone all pruney with little to redeem it, the taste was peppery with hints of cocoa, but the nose was something you just couldn't get past, and within a few sips it was all you could taste and smell ... not pleasant.
Finally, I went for something a little more recent, Tamar Ridge 2007 Pinot Noir. This wine just came out in Vintages (LCBO) and was a big hit when I tasted it previously, so I was happy to try it and this time drink it (instead of just tasting and spitting). This one is an Australian wine from Tasmania and proudly declares "Tasmania: True Cool Climate" on the label. The nose was sour cherry, with red ripe cherries poking through on occasion, which gave it a mysterious smell-ability, also present were nice red berry aromas and a touch of spice. The palate was even yummier, smooth and supple red and black fruits, subtle tannins and nice spice with hints of earthiness that brought the entire wine into balance on the tongue. The alcohol seemed big for a Pinot Noir (14%) when observed on the label, but it was unnoticeable on the palate, which made it all the better.