A.A. Badenhorst Red Blend 2019 Review – Powerful Red

If you love a good Rhone red blend the way I do, you may wonder if any other regions in the world can make a killer blend that would stand up to these famous French wines.

In South Africa, producer A.A. Badenhorst makes a pretty delicious bottle that packs a bit more of a punch than you'd expect thanks to being a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault plus Tinta Barroca and Touriga Nacional for good measure.

This one certainly did not leave us wanting more for complexity!

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Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2019 Review – A Lighter Australian Shiraz

Normally when you think of Australian Shiraz, you think of big, bold reds with intense flavors.

Shaw + Smith took a bit of a different approach with their Adelaide Hills Shiraz as the cooler climate in this region produced a much more delicate wine that was reminiscent more like a Pinot Noir and Grenache over its bolder Shiraz counterpart.

So if you are into something just a bit different for this grape (particularly lighter characteristics), this one is for you.

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Casa Madero Gran Reserva Shiraz 2017 Review – Intense Mexican Red

When we traveled to Mexico City in early 2022, we were not terribly excited at the wine options we had at the bars.

But before we left, we went to a high-end wine shop and found some of the highest rated bottles we could find and bought them to enjoy at home later on. Casa Madero's Gran Reserva Shiraz 2017 was one such bottle, and while we think this one could still use a few more years, it was a lovely bottle to pair with a roast all the same.

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Amavi Syrah 2018 Review – A Jammy Syrah from Washington

When we visited many wineries in Seattle, we quickly realized how great the wine regions are for Syrah. As Syrah happens to be one of our favorite grapes, we truly were in heaven and brought back many bottles to enjoy over the subsequent months and years.

One such bottle was from Amavi Cellars, and their 2018 Syrah was a bit unique in that it had some interesting jammy fruit characteristics!

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Rotie Cellars Southern Red 2019 Review – A Rhone Blend in Washington

It only took a while after arriving in Washington that we realize this state produces some pretty incredible grapes. Not only that, but Washington wineries tend to produce similar to two renowned Old World styles- namely Bordeaux and Rhone blends.

As we are fans of all things Rhone wine (less so Bordeaux, if we are being honest), we were drawn to sampling as much Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre as we could in Washington.

So when we were visiting Latta Vineyards outside of Seattle (after trying a bottle of their amazing Grenache), we found ourselves heading next door to Rotie Cellars immediately thereafter. As the name comes from one of the best wine regions in the Rhone (making arguably some of the finest Syrah in the world), we knew we had to give them a try.

As it turns out, their Southern Rhone Blend was a winner!

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Domaine Rostaing Ampodium Cote Rotie 2017 Review

Over the last year or so, I've been developing a bit of a love affair with Syrah. This grape has a wonderful flavor profile with nice black pepper characteristics and can be quite intense as well.

Of all the regions that produce Syrah, my affinity is pushing towards those from the Northern Rhone in regions like Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and others. One region that took me a while to try was Cote Rotie as these bottles are often among the most expensive we've seen (think $70 for the cheapest, $100 for average, and $150+ for more).

But the allure of Syrahs from the roasted hillside got the better of me, so when I needed a bottle to celebrate some good news, I knew what to get. I ended up finding Domaine Rostaing Ampodium 2017 for just about $90 and popped it open the very next day. It was everything I hoped for.

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Cave de Tain Hermitage 2014 Review – A Stellar Syrah

The more I drink wines from the Rhone region of France, the more I start to realize how much I love the area and the grapes that are grown there.

This is especially true of the Syrah from the Northern Rhone as places like Hermitage, Cote Rotie, and others make some of the finest styles of this wine you can ever have.

Cave de Tain's Hermitage 2014 was no different and was a delightful bottle all around that we enjoyed with a burger of all things!

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Chakana Nuna Syrah 2018 Review – A Representative Wine

When we think of Argentinian red wines, we don't often think of Syrah. But after a few sips of this one from our WSET 2 class, we knew we had to pick up a few bottles of the Chakana Nuna Syrah to enjoy as this one was quite a delicious representation of the varietal.

The first one didn't last very long in our cellar.

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Bodegas Olivares Panarroz 2011 Review – An Old Cellar Find

While we have a pretty good handle on everything that can be found in our cellar, sometimes we get a bit of surprise. In many cases, this is simply finding a bottle that we thought we had already consumed. Other times it is finding out a bottle does not contain the grapes we expected. In even rarer instances, we find that a bottle is much, much older than we had originally thought.

Our Bodegas Olivares Panarroz Jumilla (GSM blend- mostly Mourvedre) was the latter. We bought this one on an impulse because we saw it was on a clearance sale from a local wine store for $8. Instinctively I saw this and bought it without thinking much at the time because, well, it was $8. But it wasn't until we went to drink it that we realize this bottle was also nine-years-old.

A pleasant surprise indeed.

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