First Taste August 2009 Week 4

I’ve been on holiday in the Vendée this last week, leaving serious tasting behind in the UK. But earlier this year, I tasted through a range of Chilean Syrahs (mostly from the northern valleys of Elqui and Limarí) for a piece I was doing for Decanter – here are the notes (tasted blind in the following order):-

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Undurraga TH Syrah 2007, Limarí
Quite big, heavy tar and ash, some dense black fruit, nice licorice and herb edges, feels young and vigorous, good spice, some clove. Big but does have some fragrance, along with a refreshing raspberry finish. B+

Mayu Syrah Reserva 2006, Elqui
Has the slightly green, clove-like edge of Falernia (it’s one of Falernia’s labels), good bright dark cherry and herb, peppery edges look good, very distinctive style, but is it fine? B+

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Tabali Syrah Reserva Especial 2007, Limarí
Rounded, very Chilean in that blackcurrant pastille style, but has some herb on top of it. OK, but feels simple. Opening up to show more flesh, but the finish is still on the green side and feels a touch artificial. B(-)

Viña Falernia Syrah Reserva 2006 , Elqui
Rich, rounded, solid and balanced, plenty of flesh and fruit, but also has herby appeal too, not hollow like some of the wines, this has cojones. S(-)

Castello di Molina Shiraz Reserva 2007, Maule
More of that blackcurrant pastille style, has a rather forward, ripe earthy edge, then the blue fruit. Needs some sex. B

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Tabali Syrah Reserva 2007, Limarí
Again, very obvious blackcurrant style, grippy, tar and berry, good but lacks genius. B(+)

Maycas del Limarí Syrah Reserva Especial 2006
Slightly dumb initially, then opens up and show an intriguing earthy side, with touches of liquorice on top of the blueberry and blackcurrant fruit. Finish combines herbal notes with a dusty dryness, good balance. S-

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