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Syrah is synonymous with Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage.  This is  land where the French have perfected fine Syrah for hundreds of years.  Made in a traditional style, respecting the grape, the soil and the palate.  These wines are about complexity and balance, leaving the extraction and over-the-topness to New World producers who refer to it as Shiraz.  This wine has started to evolve and is now taking on what I yearn for in aged wines- funk.

Purple in color, the nose had a definite pepper note mixed with some blue fruit and dirt.  Sounds funny, I know, but when a wine matures and picks up barnyard, earth or other non-fruity attributes, it excites me.  This wine came through with earth meets blackberry on the palate.  Very smooth tannins are almost imperceptable and the acidity was in check.  For an 8 year old wine, it has certainly evolved, yet I fear it will only last a few more years.  It is at peak right now and would accompany a Filet perfectly.  A gift from a friend that in my opinion should be a 91 pointer and worthy of 4 stars.  I decanted the bottle and let it open for about an hour as it had some sediment and I figured it would benefit from ‘opening up’.