A typical offering from Randall Grahm, a winemaker who doesn’t like to do things by halves.  Have to mention the also usual intriguing Bonny Doon packaging—in this case,  a label reminiscent of a medieval tarot card.  Strong notes of black cherry, chocolate, and nutmeg on the nose. Big, expressive blackberry fruit and herb (thyme) on the palate with fine structure to carry it home to a long finish. Hard not to like this one. Try with something from the grill—I think a bit of smoke and char would pair well here. Highly recommended.

WHO: Bonny Doon
WHAT: Syrah
WHERE: Central Coast, California
WHEN: 2008
HOW MUCH: $20 (media sample)

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About The Author

Gary Thomas
Wine Review Editor

Gary Thomas is also a longtime professional journalist, and former senior correspondent at the Voice of America. He was the wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, TX, and has freelanced wine articles for other publications, including the Wine Spectator. He has spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, managing to cadge needed wine in the hardiest of circumstances and unlikliest of locales, even in places like Pakistan and Iran.

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