Wine Tasting Video: Syrah/Shiraz & Grenache from the Rhone, Australia & South Africa

Jean Luc Colombo Crozes Hermitage ‘Les Gravières’ 2011, Rhône, France (£13.99, Waitrose, Ocado)
Peculiar wine, not very Rhône-Syrah-like with its vanilla tinged floral peach notes on top of the berry fruit. Some spice and darker fruit does emerge with time, but still a bit of an oddball. B

Domaine Vintur Ventoux Cuvée Le Gentleman 2011, Rhône, France (£14.80
Starts off a bit shy, but then opens up to show bright woodland fruit and morello cherry flavours with hints of herbs, woodsmoke and white pepper. Fresh, but seems to put on weight the longer it’s been opened – hints at a promising future. S-

Boutinot Fide et Arte ‘Les Coteaux’, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2010, France (£9-10 D Byrne, Hoults, Amps Fine Wines, Great Grog, Jolly Vintner, Cheers)
Bold and fleshy, with dark berry, plum and damson flesh, and classic southern herbiness, but the flavours remain fresh and perky. Just let down at present by slightly too prominent smoky oak, but think this will dissipate with time. S-

Boutinot Fide et Arte ‘Les Coteaux Schisteux’ Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages 2010, France (£12.50-£14 D Byrne, Hoults, Amps Fine Wines, Woodwinters, John Hattersley, Hennings)
Some will like this bold, forward style, but for me, this is just too ripe for real class, with the fruit having lost its freshness and turned slightly jammy and kirsch-like, with the angular new wood influence not melding in too successfully. Tried this over a few days, and it didn’t seem to calm down. B+

Boutinot Fide et Arte ‘La Côte Sauvage’ Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2010 (£14-£15 D Byrne, The Secret Cellar, The French Wine People, Amps Fine Wines, Woodwinters, John Hattersley, The Wine Cellar)
Rounded, confident style, rich yet fresh, and with notes of almonds, spices and herbs adding extra layers to the ripe but never overripe plum, damson and dark berry flesh. There’s smoky oak in here too but the wine’s man enough to handle it, and emerges in storming fashion. S(+)

The Exquisite Collection Shiraz 2012, South Eastern Australia (£5.99 Aldi)
A pleasant surprise, this is bright and breezy young wine with just the right amount of mint/eucalyptus tang to complement the fresh blackcurrant and blackberry flavours. B(+)

Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Shiraz 2011, Western Cape, South Africa (£9.99 Morrisons)
I like the fresh berry, cherry and plum fruit, and the note of chocolate, but the finish is just a little too dry, and there’s just too much of that distinctive baked South African character. B(-)

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