An amazing wine, with an impenetrable color, that begins with a burst of freshly ground black pepper sprinkled over blackberries, blueberries and rum-soaked plums, and rich scents of grilled, smoked meat. The flavors are dramatic and bold, all cherries, berries, chocolate and spices that change with every swirl. This dry, richly balanced wine is sheer heaven. —S.H.
This is a big, burly Syrah (15.4% alcohol) that just manages to hold onto a sense of balance. Black pepper and meaty aromas burst from the glass, followed by earthy, spicy notes and layers of rich plum and blackberry fruit. Chewy tannins mark the finish, but don’t be deceived into thinking that means this wine will age. It might, but it might be better in its…
One of the most pleasant surprises of this tasting was how well the wines from Hart, a small winery located in Temecula, performed. This effort boasts wonderfully complex aromas of cedar, bacon fat and cherries, round, mouthfilling flavors and a long, crisp finish.
Aromas of black pepper and smoke, along with creamy raspberries indicate promise, but the barrel regime takes over on the palate, where caramelized wood continues through the finish as burnt coffee.