Renwood Sierra Foothills Syrah 2005

I found this syrah at Sunset Corner’s wine shop, in South Miami. It’s a nice drink, at a great price – $9.99 retail. Complex, not really, but not one-dimensional. In fact, over the two days that I tried the wine, it held up pretty nicely. This is a good everyday wine, and a good wine for casual parties – definitely a cool-weather backyard bbq wine.

Renwood is located in the Sierra Foothills, about 30 miles east of Sacramento. Their website indicates that their primary production is zin, but they also have syrah (obviously), barolo, vioginer, a dessert muscat, and a port-style wine. This syrah is part of their red label series, a line of lower-cost wine targeted at the budget buyer, and wine-by-the-glass in restaurants – a nice niche for this wine.

On the nose, the wine has cherries, white pepper, a little menthol and some light vegetal notes, and a very faint hint of tobacco. The taste is pleasant, with tobacco, sour cherries, and a slight earthiness. The finish is medium-short, slightly bitter (but not unpleasant), with a hint of menthol. Overall, a nice wine. Recommended!

cherries, white pepper, a little menthol and some light vegetal notes, and a very faint hint of tobacco. The taste is pleasant, with tobacco, sour cherries, and a slight earthiness. The finish is medium-short, slightly bitter (but not unpleasant), with a hint of menthol.

Posted in California, Central Region | Leave a comment

2007 Beso de Vino: Syrah from Spain

My brother-in-law picked up a couple of bottles of 2007 Beso de Vino from our local Whole Foods, and gave me one to try. I had seen the wine, but didn’t pay much attention to it. Cute label, but that’s more a sign of good marketing than a good wine. The retail price was about $9.00, which is a nice price point for a value wine, if it was good.

The wine is 100% Syrah. The winery website shows that the 2009 Beso is a blend of Syrah and Garnacha, so I assume that they adjust based on the quality of the wines and the goal they’re trying to achieve.

This wine had a deep purple color, very much like black raspberries; the aroma was quite nice, with blueberries, dark cherries, chocolate, leather and tobacco. Not a complex aroma, but rather pleasant and intriguing.

The flavor, however, left a lot to be desired. More accurately, it had something not desirable – an overwhelming taste of tobacco and menthol. Underlying were dark cherries, stewed dark fruit, black peppercorns from a stew. The tannis are soft, and there’s a hint of earthiness, but the tobacco taste just hammers you down.

The label copy has promise: “… Roasted coffee, baked berry, chocolate covered espresso bean and sweet herb aromas…” but the aging barrels were over-toasted or something, because the tobacco notes drove most of the other flavors away. I stored the wine overnight, after pumping the air out. The next day, the tobacco was even more prevalent, and I ended up pouring the wine out.

There is promise here. I have had some nice syrah’s from Spain, especially from Ribera del Duero. I think that if the tobacco were less prevalent, the wine would have been a great value with good flavor. I will be trying other vintages of this wine, in the hope that they just got a little carried away with the toasting.

Posted in Carinena, Spain | Leave a comment