Previously, I’ve reviewed and written up three wines that Spencer Roloson sent to me:

Spencer_syrahAs you can see by clicking on the above links, the results were mixed. My favorite of the three was the Palaterra, a $16 Rhone-style blend. I also have very high hopes for future vintages of the Tempranillo. I liked it, but I expect as their vines age, the wines will improve dramatically and be much more complex.

I had been saving the priciest of the samples, the Spencer Roloson 2002 La Herradura Vineyard Syrah ($35) for last, hoping to have my socks blown off.

So, with last night being one of the coldest so far this winter, I opened what I hoped would be a rich, complex, delicious wine…one that would add a touch of warmth to our otherwise frigid evening…

Eyes: It’s a deep, inky purple and looks imposing (in a good way) in the glass. I love how this wine looks. I’m ready to be blown away.

Nose: Interesting. I’ve never smelled anything like this, at least not a wine. It smells heavy and dense with tar dominating and charcoal hints. Not much fruit at all. I love finding new styles of varietals I enjoy…so this is great.

Tongue: Full-bodied and rich, but rich with flavors I didn’t expect and don’t care for that much. There’s only the slightest evidence that this is made from grapes. The tannins are nice, but I’m getting flavors that remind me of Play-Do and the metallic taste of blood. It does have some mineral and stone notes that I like, but the other flavors dominate a bit too much for my tastes.

Price: $35

Overall: Where’s the fruit? I was disappointed that none of the usual Syrah fruitiness was in here. Nena didn’t even finish her initial taste.

I continued to drink it throughout the evening, wondering if it would open up or morph into something spectacular…but that just didn’t happen. Overall, I consider this wine a bit disappointing, but I did find it to be an interesting wine.

I still have about half of the bottle and I plan to try it again tonight. Maybe a day open will bring about some new layers. Stay tuned.