LaurelakeshomeI’ve written previously about Laurel Lake Vineyard’s 2002 Chardonnay (see the post for more information on the winery) and I found it to be a pleasant wine at a great price.

Their 2002 Syrah ($20) is extremely possible in their tasting room and the last vintage sold out sooner than they expected, so I was looking forward to tasting it. Lucky for me, they sent me a bottle…two actually (the first was "off" and they wanted me to review it again).

Eyes: This wine is invitingly crimson, dark but not overly extracted or rich. It does sport a interesting purple cast.

Nose: A little closed at first, it does offer soft raspberry aromas accompanied by light spice and meatiness.

Tongue: Very soft and medium-light bodied, it’s a little gamey
even with a foundation of red and dark berry fruit. The tannins are
smoothe but a bit flat for my tastes. With 24 hours open in the bottle,
the fruit, raspberry and red cherry, become more pronounced.

Price: Overall, this wine is very drinkable though maybe a
little uninteresting. I will say, that it’s not like any other
Syrah/Shiraz I’ve ever had. It’s far from an Aussie fruit bomb, not
dense or deeply extracted like the California versions I’ve had, and
it’s lacking in the complexity or assertiveness of any Rhone I’ve had.
This is the first wine to really challenge my grading system…I can’t
quite give it a B of any sort, but it’s well made and gulpable. Maybe the from vines
just aren’t quite ready to lead to wines of great character.

Lenn’s Grade: C++