Wild Oats Central Ranges Shiraz 2011


Big and bold with velvety fruit wrapped around a spicy, earthy core.

Winery: Wild Oats wines are a label of Robert Oatley Vineyards, founded over 40 years ago by accomplished businessman and passionate sailor Robert [Bob] Oakley. Today the winery is still headed by Bob Oatley, along with his eldest son Sandy. Combining Bob’s lifelong passion for both winemaking and sailing, Wild Oats is named in honor of his successful series of yachts. Grapes for the Wild Oates brand are sourced from vineyards located in the Central Ranges district just over the Blue Mountains, northwest of Sydney.

Philosophy: “To craft wines that have varietal clarity, focus and which reflect their provenance – in a very modern fashion”. Wild Oats wines are intended to be “approachable – modern classics – crafted for immediate enjoyment and drinking”. Wines of character and integrity.”

Winemaking: The Oatley family is committed to protecting the environment; sustainable methods are practiced in both the vineyards and other winemaking production areas. Although not certified, the vineyards are farmed organically, and wines are made with as little intervention as possible.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of brambly wild berries and black pepper. Layers of wild berry jam and spicy black pepper wrap around an earthy core and finish with velvety black cherry along with traces of chocolate and smoky oak.

100% Shiraz
Central Ranges
Produced and Bottled by Robert Oatley Vineyards
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Pasos de la Capula Syrah 2012


A good value at only $9, easy drinking and a pleasant companion to hearty dishes. [Photobomb by Rocky]

Winery: Bodegas Abanico is a project created by Rafael De Haan and Nuria Altes with the mission of searching out the best wines from all of the regions in Spain [and now also South America]. They work closely with winemakers to present wines of “regional authenticity, varietal character, as well as great value”. They spotlight clean expression of the fruit, and aim to produce everyday wines “that are enjoyable to drink with good balance and control of both tannins and alcohol”.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of grape jam, autumn woods and black pepper. Black cherry and slightly tart blackberry flavours harmonise with silky tannins, dried black fruits and pink peppercorn on the plush finish.

Syrah [I could not verify varietal percentage]
Castilla la Mancha
Bottled for Bodegas Abanico, S.L. by R.E. No. CLM 386/CU
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Excelsior Syrah 2011


Easy drinking and versatile at the table, with an engaging combination of jammy fruit and a smoky, earthy backbone.

Estate: The De Wet family have been cultivating the land at Excelsior Estate in South Africa since 1859. Throughout the years many different products have been farmed, but wine has consistently been produced. Today the family has 220 hectares of vineyards and a goal of producing “full-bodied wines that display intense fruit”.

Philosophy: A “good wine starts in the vineyards”, therefore they employ strict methods such as hand harvesting and extremely spare use of chemicals.

Winemaking: The 2011 vintage experienced extreme weather conditions including heat, cold, and both rain and drought, which resulted in more concentrated flavours.

Tasting Notes: Inky purple-red in color with aromas of black cherry, grape jam and crushed white peppercorn. Tasting very similar to its aromas, with plum, black currant and grape notes supported by a smoky, earthy funk and hints of leather. Smooth tannins, white peppercorn and hints of dark chocolate comprised the moderate finish.

90% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot
South Africa
Produced & Bottled by Excelsior
14% Alcohol
Rated 85 points by Wine Enthusiast

Viña Botalcura Litú Syrah Reserva 2012


Estate: Chilean businessman and wine lover Juan Fernando Waidele along with pioneering French winemaker Philippe Debrus, who is noted for being the first winemaker in Chile to work with Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, founded Viña Botalcura in 2000.

Philosophy: Passionately crafting the best wines in Chile, along with sharing “the results of the love we have for our job, for our town and for our wine”.

Winemaking: The vineyards are sustainably farmed.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of cherry, toasted oak and licorice. Velvety flavours mirror the aromas in the full body and join grippy tannins, crushed black peppercorn and smoky oak notes in the lengthy finish.

Syrah [I could not verify varietal percentage]
Central Valley
Produced and Bottled by Viña y Bodega Botalcura S.A.
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

BearBoat Syrah Russian River Valley 2010


Notorious for its witty, conversing bears on the label, BearBoat is a brand of the Rémy Cointreau Group, which dates back to 1724 and is one of the world’s leading wine and spirits group [renowned for its famous cognac]. Holding Master of Viticulture and Enology degrees, Raphaël Brisbois is the winemaker for the Bearboat label since 1997. Brisbois aims to make food friendly wines that are expressive of where they come from. He doesn’t “copy wines from other regions”, rather he believes to craft unique wines you “make your best with the grapes grown under your own soils and climate”.

Inky red violet in colour with aromas of blackberry, vanilla and forest. Black currant, blackberry and raspberry flavours were joined by a vivid acidity, whilst licorice, toasted oak and caramel elements comprised the generous finish. On the lighter side of Syrah and with a pleasantly rustic nature, this is a friendly accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes.

100% Syrah
Russian River Valley
Produced and Bottled by BearBoat
13.8% Alcohol
$20 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2015