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2003 Jeriko Estate Syrah – Mendocino, California

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.
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2003 Château Cambon La Pelouse – Haut-Médoc, France

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.
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2003 Fra Guerau – Montsant, Spain

Clear, medium garnet color with fading rim. Aromas of black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, spice, and soft vegetal. Full body, dry, medium acid, medium-high tannin, black cherry, raspberry, fleshy black fruit, with a long, soft finish.
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2003 Bodegas El Nido Clio – Jumilla, Spain

Deep garnet red to a faded mahogany rim. Clean, full aromas of dried fruit, jams, licorice, blackberry, spice, oak, caramel, Port, cinnamon, cherry, and raspberry. Dry, medium-full body, medium acidity, medium-high tannin, flavors of coffee, cherry, spice, oak, raspberry, plum; a long smooth finish. The flavors are definitely at a peak, and I recommend finding a more recent vintage to really appreciate this wine at its best. For more wine notes and writing, visit Ryan’s blog oe•no•phile.