After a few hours to blow off some funk, this showed as earthy, with raspberry, some dried strawberries, allspice and cloves. Use of new oak is a little heavy, loading jarring vanilla onto the finish. A couple of years in the cellar might bring it together, but the risk is a dumb period followed by loss of fruit.
This under $30 Syrah was probably not intended to sleep in the cellar until 2010, but it awakened with surprising maturity and complexity. A wine described as "lavishly oaked" two or three years ago is now balanced, aromatic, and flat-out savory. Olives, hickory smoked bacon, black pepper, and sage are all lightly brushed with soy sauce for a savory northern Rhone doppelganger.
Intensely floral, this makes a wine lasagna with lavender and rose petals noodles between layers of elderberries, raspberries, lightly smoked pork, and leather. This practically begs to pair with meat, from sage-rubbed pork roast to lamb with rosemary. At its price point, $20, buy it by the case and drink it over the next two years.
A big, jammy wine, but balanced with a good streak of acid and very fine, firm tannins. Most of all, it is still very young, with many years of cellar improvement ahead of it. File this future tasting note away and test me in 10 years- blackberry and plums take a back seat to complex mature flavors of lavender, cigar box, a mix of leafy spices, marjoram, sage, and rosemary, and the meaty, crisp, smoky flavor of the well-done end of a nice prime rib.
Color is very clear and bright, a light pink with a slight orange tint. Soft strawberries and tropical fruit, balanced by a streak of acid and light tannins, make a very pleasant wine with a good mouth-feel. This is a good summer wine that will pair with skewered shrimp or barbecued chicken.
Like several for the moderately-priced bottles of '03 Bordeaux I have opened recently, this is coming to life, perhaps even peaking now. A year ago it was dead, but now it is showing a pleasant balance of fruit, blackberry and some raspberry, and more aged flavors of violets and cigar box. Tannins are soft and smooth. This has matured into a very pleasant bottle of wine at a bargain price, drinking at its peak right now. Highly recommended as a bargain introduction to a great year for Bordeaux.
Flavors of blackcurrant and a tiny touch of mint are quickly overwhelmed by cherries from the merlot and wood from the winemaking. It is sweet, red fruits ultimately dominating, with spices from the wood, cinnamon and clove. This is one of the better grocery store wines, keeping varietal correctness and not collapsing into an oak-extract mass of maple and brown sugar.