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Monday, August 24, 2009

2001 Napa Cellars Syrah

My buddy who works for the distributor that sells Napa Cellars gave me this bottle and I was quite surprised it was an 01' vintage and he still had access to it. Maybe the sell through on the old packaging was really poor or perhaps the wine sucks! I guess we'll find out right now won't we!

I couldn't find any tech data on the wine and the Napa Cellars website only had the info. on the current releases. So we'll have to do without that and just taste the darn thing.

Right off the bat I notice that the wine has an amazingly dark color and when I poured it into the glass I also noticed a good amount of sediment stuck to the inside of the bottle. The cork was also quite tattooed with black paint-like residue.

On the nose I get aromas of creme de cassis liqueur, buttered toast with blackberry jam, and loads of coconut-like oak. The oak is quite dominate and almost cartoonish with it's piña colada and cream pie aromas.

On the palate the wine is pretty much dominated by these same piña colada, banana cream pie, and way over-oaked flavors. I can taste a bit of cassis and blackberry through all the oak, but to be truthful it's really hard to enjoy this wine. It finishes with some chunky tannin and a dose of alcohol too.

I guess until now I hadn't really experienced an aged Syrah that had been made in this oaky and manipulated style. I can tell you that the fruit is still pretty cloaked and hidden behind the cream and toast. As the wine opens up a bit the flavors do improve but the wine is still mediocre at best. I would imagine that this winery has improved upon this wine in the last decade and hopefully they have eased off a bit on the barrel regimen. 83 points

 
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