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SLONYC 3- Here, there and anywhere.....

Last night the SLONYC group met with a simple theme: Syrah from anywhere.These were to be served blind with no-one knowing more than 2 of them in total. Even I avoided making much note on what was ‘in’, and I allocated regions/countries in a first come first serve format. Trying to get 3 from each major Syrah producing region. Most responses came back US, France and Australia as expected. I was glad a NZ Shiraz and Italian Syrah showed up as well.11 of us sampled 14 wines at North Square restaurants private room. It got loud from time to time, but a good time was had, as usual. Bottles were all wrapped in aluminum and numbered. Placement in no particular order.What a great assortment we had. Classic next to flamboyant, all the ‘rules’ were in check this night.

Thanks for everyone for participating and bringing such great bottles.

We unveiled after every flight of 3.
Check out the 'ringer', wine #11

Starter: 2006 Dutton Russian River Chardonnay

1-2006 Craggy Range Syrah Le Sol, New Zealand. Very interesting from the get go. Black pepper is first and upfront with some red raspberries, and macerated black cherry. Some sour cherry notes in the mix. A cool climate Shiraz that’s kept me curious to see what I could find and I liked it for that. 90

2-2006 Cayuse "Armada Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley US. Wow, this screamed purity. This screamed west coast. Clean and delineated lines with blueberry pie, river rocks, and some floral notes. I recognized this one immediately as possibly being a Cayuse of some sort. Very nice indeed. My WOTF 95

3-2000 Chave Hermitage, Rhone France. Barnyard, funk, more of same. Dump. Sorry….no I am not.

Group: 8 1st place votes for wine #2. 2 for wine #1. 1 for wine #3

4-2003 Standish "The Relic" Shiraz-Viognier Barossa Valley South Australia. This was an easy spot for an Aussie. It was dark and almost syrupy and sweet. Blackberry, anise, chocolate malted, and more. It had some real interesting stuff going on. Long and profuse, this did not work with for at all. I did enjoy it, but context of the night kept it just below what I wanted. A Syrah. 91

5-2006 Charles Smith Syrah Royal City Stoneridge Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington, US. 4 hour double decant. Dark glossy and pure, this had an attack of elegant black fruits; macerated blackberry, pomegranate, with some Kirsch and bacon. Pretty and floral with elegance and super structure which belies its initial mouth feel (intense). Wonderful balance. Tannins big and brawny and in the back field. Long finish. Fantastic. My WOTF . 95

6- 2004 Negly Porte Du Ciel. Languedoc, France. Started out somewhat funky, but turned medicinal and band-aid real quick. Flawed

Group: 7 1st place votes for wine #5 4 for wine #4

7-1995 Jim Barry Shiraz The Armagh , Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley. Initially very Cab like. This had menthol notes amidst some black cherry, currant and plums. Some licorice, some tar, some lead pencil shaving. I thought right away on how it reminds me of a Penfolds Grange. I figured maybe15 years old or so. This was a very classy, classical Shiraz with tons of elegance and pizzazz. Long and pure, the menthol never really let up. 93

8-2005 Saxum Syrah Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard, Central Coast, Paso Roble, CA, USA. Dark hues, this was initially somewhat dis-jointed and awkward. As it sat t came around to a pure and intense style I really love, not too unlike the Royal City. Lots of macerated black fruits with a hint of blueberry. River rocks, some earth, some Crème de Kirsch, and so much happening. A cornucopia of goodness with super structure and depth. Ultra long pure finish, kept alive for minutes. Incredible. My WOTF 94

9-2000 Negly Clos des Truffiers, Languedoc, France. n/a

Group: 7 1st place votes for wine #8. 4 for wine #7.

10: 2001 Jaboulette La Chapelle Hermitage, Rhone, France-n/a

11- 2006 Antica Terra Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, US. In retrospect, the nose should have given this away. What a great exercise in blind tasting and its expectations. This had some great red fruits of cherries, plums and more. A decent light weight mouth feel. What else could I say? The group LOVED it. 9 WOTF votes. Me included. 92

12- 2004 Hazyblur Shiraz The Invictus Barossa Valley Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley. Dark, pure, and oh so Australian. Lots of Blueberry, blackcherry, blackberry with chocolate malt shake, vanilla, and more. A mid weight wine with stuffing to spare, I would not mind trying this on a cold winters night by itself. Evolved much as it sat. It may have suffered by placement. A good wine nonetheless. If I knew 11 was a Pinot, I would have voted this my number 1 of the flight. Retrospect is a beach with an I and T where the E and A is. 90

Group: 9 1st place votes for wine #11. 2 for wine #12.

13- 2006 Eric Kent Kalen. Shut the fire. I’m done.

14- 2006 Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro (Manzano) Syrah Cortona Il Bosco, Italy. Nice, but no notes takenUn-scientific vote for WOTN.4 Cayuse3 Saxum2 Craggy1 Standish1 Royal City (me)