18 Jun 2006


A RECENT Syrah/Shiraz tasting yielded some intriguing notes. The provenance of this grape is often in question. Whether it came from the town of Shiraz in Iran over 7000 year ago, or France, a cross of Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche, its popularity for all levels of wine seems assured...

Saint-Joseph 'Deschants' Chapoutier 2002
[£13.79, Oddbins]
This florally-tinged Rhone red from St. Joseph (located below Condrieu, by Crozes Hermitages and above Cornas) is ripe with ground black and green peppercorns on the nose and a palate of venison with a sinewy edge. Sugar-coated fruit pastels complement the floral bouquet. A French stunner with (not meaning to offend readers) 'breasts in'.

Côtes du Roussillon, Clos des Feés
[£Stockist unknown]
A head turner, this purple tinged wine has sweet, gentle tannins and elements of ribena.

Heartland Directors' Cut Limestone Coast Shiraz 2003
[£14.99, Oddbins]
From Ben Glaetzer, named "Wine Personality of the Year 2005" by uber wine critic Robert Parker (hence, prepare to watch the price quadruple), this tarragon scented wine offers hydrogentated vegetable fat on the palate with a three hour long bricky aftertaste (Director's Cuts are always longer). The Limestone coast is cool, although the wine feels seethingly hot in alcohol.

Saltram Metala Shiraz Cabernet 2003
[£5.38, Oddbins]
Supple, sweet, brawny and herby, this great value wine evokes blueberries, cassis and also Pez tablets, albeit in an appetising, fresh context. I could develop a soft spot for this wine quite rapidly. Much more intriguing than the wine above.

Allée Bleue Shiraz 2004
[£11.99, Oddbins]
Thick, syrupy, tate and lyle with a smile, this fresh-feel almost tumble-dried blunderbuss from the foodie capital of Franschhoek or French quarter (Western Cape) has the opposite cleavage to the Saint-Joseph, hence a full-frontal wonderbra assault. Beautiful aftertaste.
See also: Clonakilla