Zinfandel, Fitou and Southern Hemisphere Syrah/Shiraz

Hacienda Araucano Syrah Reserva 2009, Lolol Valley, Chile (N/A in UK)
Delicious gluggable youngster, unhampered by oak, awash with bouncy bramble and berry, flesh, with a finish that combines notes of pepper, spice and herbs with a charred character. You could almost chill this. S-

Mont Tauch Fitou Terroir d’Altitude Vieilles Vignes 2008, Languedoc, France (£7.99 Morrisons)
Lush warm welcoming style, with the classic herbiness of southern France – bay, thyme, rosemary etc. Generous juicy plum and berry fruit too, seems at first a touch jammy but then decent fresh finish. B+

Zalze Shiraz/Mourvèdre/Viognier 2009, Western Cape, South Africa (£6.49 Waitrose)
OK baked berry character with slightly perfumed apricot, chocolate and vanilla edges and a savoury finish, just spoilt by ‘dead grape’ – overripe fruit, giving that slightly dried out taste. B-

The Society’s Exhibition Old Vine Zinfandel 2006, Amador County, California (£10.95 The Wine Society)
This may have lost some of its youthful bounce, but it’s still very much alive, with savoury plum, red fruit and blackberry notes, a touch of green herbiness and a slightly smoky edge. Scores for not trying to be too big – light is the wrong word, but this is gentle and juicy. S(-)

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