Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cono not-so Sur and a Prickly Porcupine (Chile / South Africa)

Yet again I find myself in the midst of a two-fer night, that means I had to open two wines to find one that was actually good. I started the evening by opening a (once) delicious Pinot Noir from Chile. The only problem was that it was 4 years old, and it should never have seen it's four year birthday. This once delicious fruit filled Pinot (2006 Cono Sur) has become stinky (and not in a good Pinot way), stinky to the the point where the palate is loaded with stink berries with a very unpleasant aftertaste ... not even aeration or time in glass seemed to fix this one ... ugh.

So it was time to try a completely different wine. I opened a bottle of Porcupine Ridge 2004 Syrah from South Africa. Now, many South African reds have what I call "the South African stink" in them - the good news about that smell (road tar like) is that over time it does blow off. Lucky for me this Syrah had but a touch of it, and the other aromas and flavours over-shadowed what might have been quite a stinky wine. The nose was full of licorice, earthy and smoked meat spice. Given about 20 minutes in glass there was an interesting smell of floral / blossom notes that materialized. On the palate it was peppery and smoky yet smooth enough to glide along the palate; the finish ended up being a pleasant pickled meat spice ... quite nice and very tasty.

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