A Tale of Two Syrahs
My apologies to Charles Dickens for ripping on his title. First up is the d'Arenberg The Footbolt 2000 [PDF File of Robert Parker's Tasting Note]. This is a gentle shiraz from Australia that is easily approachable. Unlike many Aussie shirazes, it is not huge and bold. It's more nuanced and therefore a wine that can be enjoyed by a broader audience. It's a nice ruby color with gentle spice notes and bright berries. A nice long finish wraps up a great package that can be had for $20 or less. An easy 85 on the WineGeek scale, perhaps even up to 90 points. The second syrah comes from L'Ecole No. 41, their Columbia Valley 2002. This is a dark, brooding syrah with tons of dense fruits. There's more oak in this wine, which is evident from the vanilla notes (Mrs. WineGeek said the wine reminded her of chocolate chip cookie dough). The color is a dark, inky purple red, with a long, long finish. The tannins are much more evident, producing excellent structure. At $30 a bottle, this is not inexpensive, but it is worth the price. Solid 90 on the WineGeek scale.