Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Double Dose of Syrah / Shiraz (California / Ontario)

It was a sad day for older Shiraz / Syrah tonight ... I kicked off with a bottle that had been brought over and left unconsumed a few night ago: Karly 1995 Amador County Syrah ... from the pictures on their website it looks like Karly wines, even today, is run out of someone's kitchen, or at least the tasting room is.  It also seems that Karly is known primarily as a Zinfandel producer; so what am I doing with a Syrah from them?  Oh well, I did not buy it but I am willing to try it.  It was an impossible bottle to get into as the cork just crumbled into a million pieces all over the sink and the floor, I'll clean it up later.  I ended up creating a hole in the cork and siphoned off the first quarter of the bottle trying to get a clean look to the glass (no cork pieces).  Once that was done it was time to taste the wine ... the smell was atrocious and the taste was no better ... all oak and dried something, possibly a cross between leaves and bark with a very bitter finish, the wine was not corked but the finish had the feel of licking cardboard to it, and a similar taste (probably from being filtered through the cork to the glass), but something tells me even if I could have gotten that cork out clean this wine was long dead.

Bottle two proved to be a little better but not by much ... the good news, I guess, is it was still alive and drinkable:  Pelee Island 2005 Vinedressers Shiraz ... 2005 was a good year for reds in Ontario and the southern most point, Pelee Island, got a real nice flavour out of these grapes, as per my notes of September 2009.  But now some 4 years later the wine seems to be falling apart.  The nose has gone all cedary and black pepperish, while the palate has spice, black pepper and a real cedary flavour, and all tertiary flavours without a spec of fruit.  Granted the wine seemed to smooth out a bit over the course of an hour, dropping some of the harsh tannins, but it remained all woody and black pepper in flavour.  While it was drinkable it worked better with the food than on its own.

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