Your immediate impression of this Syrah is power. It’s a darkly colored, big, thick and intensely flavored wine, with furry tannins framing massive flavors of blackberries, teryaki beef, black pepper and smoky oak. Easily deserves its high score despite a certain rude assault.
Rich and ripe in blackberry, cassis and smoked meat flavors, this big, bold Syrah is fairly high in alcohol, but wears it well. It has a full-bodied, warm mouthfeel, and is best enjoyed over the next year or two.
The sheer deliciousness gives this wine its high score. It’s like a decadent pastry dessert, with dark chocolate truffle, grilled black cherry, cassis, anise and sandalwood flavors sprinkled with cinnamon and pepper. But it’s fully dry. The high alcohol and softness suggest drinking now.
Perhaps it’s Fox’s previous role as Rhône winemaker, but the Syrahs seem more complex and better balanced than the winery’s Pinots, better able to handle the heady alcohol levels. This is a rich, syrupy wine, with concentrated fruit based on blackberries and spice, made more complex by hints of coffee, earth and grilled meat.
This is a connoisseur’s wine. Its white-pepper aromas are undergirded by blackberry, smoke and tar, and the berry flavors are wrapped in dried herbs, accompanied by some fairly astringent tannins. It has depth and interest, and will be fantastic with a rich cut of lamb or beef.
Toasty, nutty aromas vie with earthy, horsey scents, but underneath this sideshow there's gobs of blackberries, prune plums and licorice. Finishes long and tangy, with complex notes of coffee, black pepper and smoked meat.
Black pepper is the star of this bone-dry, full-bodied young wine, in both the aroma and the flavor. Below that are bold notes of black currants, plums and leather. The tannins are hard, giving it a mouth-stinging astringency. Your best bet is to cellar it for 3–4 years, but it’s somewhat risky.
Clearly astringent, but this wine may have a good future. The flavors of ripe, sweet blackberries and smoky espresso are dramatic, and so is the vibrant, lemony acidity. Hold until 2007 while you wait for the components to come together.